no interviews from the piano player bleeding near the fountain where children chase bubbles (get lost, new york university student newspaper)

flying away from the thick of it all,
i couldn’t help but think
that long, long from now,
when i am a seahorse
or blade of grass
or ray of sun on Mars,
and life as we know it,
is not life as we know it,
New York will be the
next lost city of Atlantis,
eaten up by the rising oceans,
and itself will be partly to blame

the city that so many love to love —
on their hats
on their chests
on their bags
on their life’s crests
— will sleep at last

everything it is now will cease to be,
except for the echoes
of black and white but not quite
and life thought limitless

the city where it all began as the Great American Dream
and has been beaten down to the Great American Scheme
and will die as the Great American Obscene

where construction workers
lead blind men and women to safety
across ruthless intersections of life

where anyone can fall in love with another,
and if not, there’s plenty of time
to fall in love with yourself

where there’s constant screeching
of tired brakes on abused bitumen

where ten million phalanges
are always reaching toward
an infinite cavern of sapphire, and
burgundy roses are frozen in a central time,
holding on to it all as long as they can . . .

“happy birthday, Darling Henry.
we’ll always have
New York and Each Other.
All my Love, Christina . . .”

. . . the city where Jesus is nowhere to be found
in the square of flashing time,
only Lucifer and his green minions,
who really mean no harm,
except to ejaculate in your wallet
and stiff you on post-coital intimacy

where you can see the shining souls
of babies playing on bedrock
like pilgrims on Plymouth

where the scents of
overpriced perfume and motor oil
permeate 5th avenue

where you can buy all four Beatles
in their Sgt. Pepper’s best
for only $169.99 a piece (tax not included)

where the richest can be found on the third floor
with the silver and the gold,
and aquamarine is the only safe haven
from the empty glitz of Tiffany . . .

“Chewy nun-chucks in your
cavity fighting arsenal . . .”

. . . the city where rats scamper away
like nervous humans from St. Malachy’s

where three Dutch men were
pungent with the smell of Mary,
and i wanted to be their friend

where i did make friends
with a robin, chest full of cinnamon bourbon

where security escorted a young gentleman
with pretty eyes out of the public library,
him screaming at the people gathering round
fuck fuck fuck fuck
fuck fuck fuck fuck
fuck fuck fuck fuck
you

where masters of canines
grip furry balloons paid for by Daddy

where ninety percent of
the world’s fake crystal chandeliers
loiter on Bowery street . . .

“everybody wants their career
to go places. in her case,
that meant every corner
of the world . . .”

. . . the city where i paid homage
to my Beaten heritage
on a suiting dreary day,
and i swear i could hear
the ghost of Dean whispering,
“what’s your road, man?
holyboy, road, madman road,
rainbow road, guppy road, any road.
it’s an anywhere road for anybody anyhow.”

where despite the claims
i have trouble buying the term
haute hippie

where if all the Starbucks
were repurposed to homeless shelters,
everyone might get some shut-eye

where i wondered if the Chinese are happy
in their quasi-cultural plot of gift shops
with corners of netted durian

where the IN-WHY-PEE-DEE
run on thin crust Sicilian
and glass bottled Coca Cola

where the pet ants intended
to build a ladder to heaven, but
resigned, then took up in
another bigger, better, shinier, taller attempt
again and again and
again and again until
they forget why they were building
in the first place . . .

“baby, please remember
what i told you to forget . . .”

. . . the city where mosaic humans
perpetually set in concrete

where people from around the world
take refuge in the jungle,
put down their guns, and
stop fighting each other
because they are all fighting
their own daily battles

where the cab driver
blew his nose into a tissue, and
i saw a sleepy solemn sadness
in his yellow eyes

where bums dream of
pissing
on the bull
when the fuzz is
missing

where a veiled woman
clothed in Louis Vuitton and an American flag
almost gouged my eyes out
with her sagging nipples
hard as the diamonds she looked to buy,
and she left me pondering
if her pockets were lined with oil . . .

“this mothaaaa fuuuuckin’ queeeen.
this bitch got on a . . .”

. . . the city where when the skyline
is glanced from afar, the massiveness
shrunken to a child’s play set,
reveals to you that the entire world
is manageable and yours to own
if looked at it the right way

where James Farmer wants to hear from you

where a woman white as a lie
nodded off on the corner, and
the thought crossed my mind
that she would not survive the night.
and did anybody else
or even herself
care if she did?

where i swear someone was toking hard
on the other side of a churchyard

where a curly-haired young girl
walked along with a balloon trailing
on the ground behind her,
and Calvin played voyeur from above
with his average cock on display . . .

“you’re only allowed to sniff it,
c’mon . . .”

. . . the city where i left the salt
alongside Gideon’s bible

where intact gloves moan
for their lovers laying wet in the streets,
and though they were once inseparable,
they are useless now

where i woke up Monday morning
to love notes written on snowy car tops

where the hall of Diet Coke
tells you about your ambitions

where people on the street
aren’t happy when our eyes meet,
but what are they worried about,
i’m only just like them . . .

“how did you get this job?
Call an officer and tell him
you’re an asshole . . .”

. . . the city where the city itself
is the American mutt with
the streets as its veins,
the people as its lifeblood,
the buildings as its bones,
and something else
hovering above
as its brain, and
sickness or health on any corner
can turn as quick as the stock exchange

where men tie their mothers’ shoelaces on sidewalks

where a chubby teenager
held a book of God and wore
a sweatshirt that read,
“Are You Free From Sin?” and
in the Garment District of all places,
and i wanted to tell her
she had her work cut out here, but
then again, who doesn’t

where a piano player dressed in black
with a pocket watch on his hip
fingered ivories in Washington Square,
alongside children giggling in insane sanity
at behemoth dreams of rainbow soap, and
i wanted to cry, wondering
how the piano player got from them
to him, bleeding near the fountain
in contented gloom

where the more someone has to prove,
the faster they walk,
and the more someone has to lose,
the faster they talk

what’s the hurry, man?
have some change?
what’s the hurry ma’am?
have a nice day
what’s the hurry, son?

one day your kingdom will be,
as your mob says,“swimmin’ with the fishes,”
and the municipality that has the kinetic energy
of the Universe expanding through mystery
will be as still as the bricks that built it

and you will have been too busy
scoffing at the tourists
or wiping your ass with
federal Quilted Northern
or asking for coveted interviews
to realize that you were so near
the kids and their happy days
and the piano player who
cried the soundtrack for
the Lost City of Atlantis
in the most beautiful way
in a most beautiful place

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One thought on “no interviews from the piano player bleeding near the fountain where children chase bubbles (get lost, new york university student newspaper)

  1. Reblogged this on and commented:
    LOL! But not at this prose/words, in a very “I agree” – and in a “this is so true” kinda way, “Starbucks to house the homeless…” There were so many amazing, wisdom’s and spot-on observations contained in this piece. Love it. :)

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