New York City 2013

                           Humans Of New York

Ted Berrigan wrote a book of Sonnets.  That book moved me more mystically then any book of poems I’ve read.  I can’t even read Berrigan anymore because I so wore it out, but that book was music to my soul.  His birthday was this past Friday, Nov 15th, he would have been 79.  I wanted to go to his place of dwelling at 101 St. Marks Pl, and write poems in homage, but I was in bed with a cold.

However, Saturday I was in Central Park and someone asked me to right a poem about what I know to be true.  I wrote it in a simple style I know from Berrigan.  He liked lists.  

                         TEN THINGS I KNOW TO BE TRUE

            1.)  The sky is blue

            2.)  When I really listen I feel at ease
                      and yet most of the time I don’t listen

            3.)  Big tips are better then big tits

            4.)  Temperature is the contour of all groove

            5.)  When its cold people don't want poems

            6.)  My mom is dead, and she ain’t coming back

            7.)  I will have an amazing time in my life of poeming

            8.)  Truth has no appearance

            9.)   I will always love Suzanna

           10.)   All of what I know
                                   is a guess

A women from France who dreamed she’d come to New York and fall in love; and she did

                                 DREAM MAGIC

                                                                   the image
                                                                       made of light
                                                                 an appearance

                                                          Out of nothing it all
                                                       out of the big top hat of the heart
                                                                           the image of a man
                                                              on a bench
                                                                      under the elms
                                                          all the true colors of trees
                                                                        and letting go
                                                        drifting through the light that made them
                                                            falling softly to the ground
                                                                    to rest like sleep
                                                         And she is sideways on his lap
                                                                             bright as a bride
                                                             lighter then she could have imagined
                                                                                when she imagined
                                                                   what it would be like
                                                                               to be free
                                                                          and falling
                                                                    through this amazing light


This beautiful young lady, I’d say she was about 18, wanted a poem called Asshole: about the guy she gave her virginity to.  The stoner fuck, took it, then turned his back and has ignored her for six months.  Her broken heart was a mess of innocence.  But I recognized an old soul strength in her.  She is a song writer and full of dreaming.  She may not know it, but she is a beautiful artist.


                    You can’t help it
                            Not your fault really
                        All bone
                                        no brains  
                      You may as well be stoned
                                      Just puff down dude
                That’s the only direction you know
                                         going down
               That’s where all the shit goes
                             in one whirling flush

                  I gave you the garden prize
                                          the mango
                                        the mingoe
                       and you ate like a king
                   then turned it all to one big
                          gurgling shit load
                  because that’s what asshole do
             You can’t help it

                   But I’m still a garden
                                       full of birds
                      and my day has just begun




                            No matter how good the cake
                                          or the pie
                               or the hotdogs
                                  They all turn to poo
                                         and that stinks



                They will dig a hole over your grave
                     and i will touch you
                                   your earth
                          for the first time
                and pour my mothers’ ashes over you
                   and you will touch her 
                     for the first time in 47 years
                         and I dont know if I will cry 
                                             or sing
                          or if I will be thinking of other things
                But I know that the man who gave me birth
                    and died before I could utter a word
                        is in the halo of every poem I have typed
                              every heart that has been touched
                           every loneliness alleviated
                                      has your quiet flame
                Somehow dad
                      after not knowing you for most of my life
                   you’ve given my words their light
                        It is me and you
                                     me and you 
                                  my intimate stranger
                          that sing
                                    and cry
                                and laugh
                                    because to be alive 

                                            is so beautiful

                            SOMETHING HOPEFUL

                 Don’t hope
                               it’s a trick
                       the con job of fear
                    that dastardly snake oil salesman
                 want’s to run the show 
             with his smoke and mirrors
                      but he’s a puny thing behind the curtain
              Don’t get on board with his routine
                   gonna scare you into needing hope
          and guess
                       just take a good guess
                           at who is going to sell you hope
              the sticky fingered runt behind the curtain

                  Go sweetly back to Kansas
                              wake in this world that loves you
                           that has taken billions of years 
                                              just to make you
                  Be full of sincerity 
                                         you are a love child

                        you having nothing to fear

 She wanted me to write about a poets return to New York.  I grew up out side the city in Jersey.  I hadn't been back to new york in ten years.

                                 RETURNING TO NEW YORK

                 Walt Whitman, began writing here
                                         Dylan Thomas died here
                    Robert Zimmerman became Bob Dylan here
              and when I stand on the corner of 14th and Broadway 
                in the gray balmy drizzle of September
    I'm transported as intimately as to smell my Nana’s kitchen

                     A feeling of home
                                 decades forgotten
                                        envelopes my mood
                         and all of it
                                      the height of buildings
                      the red brake lights 
                           on the wet pavement
                  the accent of the cop 
                               giving a tourist directions
                      the brunt smell of pretzels and chestnuts
                        all of it
                            wraps itself around me like quilt
                                     made just for me 
                                                        long ago 
                              when all I knew was home

                     How amazing
           that in the worlds greatest city of modern poetry 
                                 amidst the bustle of millions of people
                                      I could feel so at ease
                                    having the sense
                                           that a most misfit soul 
                                  has come home 


                             70 Degrees on NYC
                                   (December 22nd)

         The light has returned
                  and it’s hanging out in New York City
     everyone is stripping down to their natural born skin
         The kiss of the sun has never felt so sincere
                                   like family visiting town
           warmth and generosity you know so well
                             and before things get sticky 
                                     and start to smell
                                            their gone
                      These are the golden days
               The sidewalk has opened its doors
                                     one big happy family
                  The flamer in green hot pants and red boa
                                     prancing through his splendor
                     The hot dog vendor 
                           with the pot-bellied tank-top and santa cap
                                 singing carols with a mid-eastern accent
              Red bikinis and sugar white skin
                      in the green green Central Park grass
                                                   near the big pine

        It’s the 22nd of December and the Sun is back in town.

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