Bridge

For MJN crossing beneath,
for NYC connecting across,
for The Brooklyn Bridge rescue working destiny

Advance your vantage
point, collapse
your facade of steel,
your gutted concrete floor.

Collide your bridge maker
with mine, collage your hand over mouth
with my eyes shut,
vocal chords in strangulation—

a scream
a void

to coalesce to convalesce
on one promenade
of material unidentifiable yet.
Coordinate the crossing—

bare feet
dust
ash caked faces

no veil could protect,
suits meaningless, ties undone
till they become arms swaying.
A human chain

of events. A human
behavior changing—
never
no way
when
now.

They designed bridges
to be passageways.
Make them good
to get no further

than this. It is still where it has been,
the destination stands
between these pedestrian elevating towers
still here.

Advertisements

Not Everything Nearly Went Bankrupt in the 70s

There was meeting you. And younger
brothers—real
and imaginary. My first close encounter

with the third eye of a stormy
near collapse. No time for window-shopping.
A blur, and I would be back. In the midst

of it, I didn’t know that yet. You
would die before I got so dirty
in the gritty City

I couldn’t escape
a never-ending love affair
not even moving would break. And

I didn’t get to tell you about it
when you were alive, so how about now?

Once upon a time,
a 13-year-old girl emerged
from Penn Station,
and so it begins.

Hell Was the Second Word You Uttered

It’s 9 am
on a Saturday
in April, do you know where

your Please
Kill Me t-shirt
is? Who you were

with the first time
you listened to Chronic
Town all the way through?

Gardening at night
is not always as romantic
as it seems. Mumbling may be

a gift of genius,
or merely of the arrogant
camouflaging an inferiority

complex the size of a bull’s eye
on that t-shirt
in XXXL. Or, it could all be

a joke—the way
we equate enunciating
with the truth.

How To Be Second Choice

Grace. A chess game indoors
could have been outside in
spring snow if it was

a bigger place
with more pocket parks. But here
everything stays

insulated. A punk jabbing
at the inside mechanisms
of my mind. In a dream,

the old New York employer
has all but shutdown. An empire
of books gets streamlined. Everyone

has moved
on. Even those who haven’t
when I wake will be gone.

Is It Mine Again?

Dumptruck sings “Get off
my island.” Used to be
my refrain even though
I’ve always known no one

(especially me) can really own
it. Just missed going to college
with one Dumptrucker. Shared a cab
from the Lower East Side to Prospect Heights
early one Sunday morning with another.

An oral history gets written
down. What gets lost
in translation becomes ghost
poems that only recite

themselves under waxing
crescent moons. But when they do,
you can hear them echo
up freshly rained-on empty streets
with titles like “urban spring” and “long live
the lighthouse keeper.”

A Boat in a Fog May Not Be Lonely

I blush to think
how I did examine
that photo of you

naked. In the privacy
of my apartment. Alone.

Always alone there,
here, for now for however
long. Long enough

to defrost the freezer
on a schedule. My therapist
says go

online, experiment, be
a tease, say no. I
say no

to that. I think
I should—no, I fear
I should have no

one to tease. Could I
tease you for a night?
Could I be the smile

in Minnesota
for you? Is that meeting
in Theatre 80 on Saint Marks Place

where the original
punks who did not die go to not die?
I’ll never say. I’m one too.

Bridge

For MJN crossing beneath,
for NYC connecting across,
for The Brooklyn Bridge rescue working destiny

Advance your vantage
point, collapse
your facade of steel,
your gutted concrete floor.

Collide your bridge maker
with mine, collage your hand over mouth
with my eyes shut,
vocal chords in strangulation—

a scream
a void

to coalesce to convalesce
on one promenade
of material unidentifiable yet.
Coordinate the crossing—

bare feet
dust
ash caked faces

no veil could protect,
suits meaningless, ties undone
till they become arms swaying.
A human chain

of events. A human
behavior changing—
never
no way
when
now.

They designed bridges
to be passageways.
Make them good
to get no further

than this. It is still where it has been,
the destination stands
between these pedestrian elevating towers
still here.

When Corlear Avenue Was Home

No recipes for Pinterest. No nails
for the resurrection
of Washington

Avenue. It’s really a boulevard
without the reach
of Broadway. I remember

the way I lived
in the Bronx. That elevated #1
line dropped shadows,

then hints, of the plains
I might choose to cross
before decades erased

my interest
in pins and collage.