little fingers in a big city

little fingers in a big city

A Poem by jacob erin-cilberto

 

little fingers in a big city

 

 

street corner strings plucked by begging fingers

the nails bitten down to skin,

raw skin against night chords

 

in the darkness he plays all the songs he knows

his guitar case glitters in the moonlight

of quarters and dimes and a rare silver dollar

 

his eyelids heavy from life

his shoes weary from walking against the traffic

cement beds and hopscotch skies

 

under which he blankets his fears of living,

his fears of dying,

his family abandoned him because of his crazy dreams

 

they can't hear what he plays now

they are states of mind away

borders clouded with severance pay

 

his lot 

is nowhere near their parking spot

and the indifference they show him

blisters his heart

as he writes in-congruent poetry

to go with the notes

 

he writes to himself

only in his mind

since he can't afford a writing implement

because all of his earnings

get drowned in a bottle of self-pity

 

and the only fame he achieves

is from the concerts he gives 

to the four or five patrons

who throw him change

and pretend their tickets

 

are precious souvenirs.... 

 

 

erin-cilberto

12/28/16


© 2016 jacob erin-cilberto



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Reviews

very sad j, so much aid goes abroad to look generous but at home the troubled and homeless are forgotten. now pensioners are having more entitlements stripped away, becoming poorer, no longer required, after 50 years working, doing their dues and paying taxes.

Posted 9 Months Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

9 Months Ago

yes, we expect to pay our dues and then rest contentedly afterward, even that is being taken away..... read more
I see the brilliant addicted mind not able to ever really becoming part of "normal", society. I've seen so many people hanging on the edge with their addiction of choice. As there life grows shorter minute by minute.

Really a great work, I like it a great deal. :)

Posted 9 Months Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

9 Months Ago

thank you for your kind review, Willard.
j.
I wish your muse could be bottled. Oh, what I would pay!



Posted 9 Months Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

9 Months Ago

you are very kind, Kelly,

j.
WOW! I think this is my new favorite of yours! The character study is so precise. The man playing guitar for whatever change people will throw. Liquor keeps him company now that his family has given up on him. Still, he continues on....he has not given up on himself yet. Wonderful! Lydi**

Posted 9 Months Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

9 Months Ago

thank you for your kind review, Lydi..

j.
This reminds me of a young fellow who plays banjo outside the local liquor store (although I think his addiction is tattoos) I told him what I liked was that he was busking not begging. His playing's not that bad either. Good one, J.

Posted 9 Months Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

9 Months Ago

great story..wish i could hear him play....thank you, Ted.
j.
I often wonder whether to chase my dreams or strive for an existence in the practical reality. It depends on which way we look at it. He could be a destitute and a loser to the world but to some he could be the king of his own private kingdom. A maestro playing to his own private audience. He is successful in that he is living doing what he loves which is more than can be said for many well-off professionals stuck in jobs they don't like. One of them is me.
Beautifully told, great poetry appreciated so much.

Posted 9 Months Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

9 Months Ago

yes, many are stuck in jobs they don't like...i was for years...but now for years, lucky enough to d.. read more
DIVYA

9 Months Ago

You are welcome Jacob...
i think you picked every single word so as not to waste nor over supply. well done .. i think this saga needs a proper publishing .. the scene clear as a bell ..emotions for me are launched in this line:
"his family abandoned him because of his crazy dreams"
lots of smart word play without adding humor to it .. first verse grips me (i have known these people) i thought he was a tweeker though biting nails and scratching skin .. so you "guy" has a bit of all of it ..drug abuse, alcoholism, mental illness, loss of home, no aprecciable work ..but what i like the most is that he holds on to his guitar ... he plays it and sings songs (even if only in his head) and earns that burger he is about to go buy down the street .. i think this is noteworthy for sure ..into the ol' library it goes sir!
E.

Posted 9 Months Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

9 Months Ago

thank you for your really kind review, E.

j.
I've seen these folks, sometimes in libraries where they sleep, I slip a few bucks in there hand as they merrily go back to sleep.

Regards,
Al

Posted 9 Months Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

9 Months Ago

yes, interesting how just a few bucks can make them merrily go back to sleep...yet for some millions.. read more
'.. his lot .. is nowhere near their parking spot ..
and the indifference they show him .. blisters his heart .. as he writes .. .. '

Okay, so now I'm crying... but not sad about that fact. Because reading twice, feeling more, deep, deep feelings for that man and so many millions like him wrap around me after a Christmas full of virtually everything. So cruel a world that gives too much to too many and barely a flick of ash to others.

Your writing is amongst the cream of this Cafe - always has been, jacob. You see minutae in all light, then turn them into precious lessons of 'How To.. Or Not.. '

So many fine phrases here: '.. his eyelids heavy from life .. .. his shoes weary from walking against the traffic .. .. cement beds and hopscotch skies.. '

Readers: read this, store it in minds too often clouded with little nore than getting there before you leave.

Posted 9 Months Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

9 Months Ago

thank you for your very kind words, emma.

j.
A beautiful and sad poem , pursuing one's dreams can come at a price at times, loved the line "cement beds and hopscotch skies" wonderful imagery shown here. Very well written piece.

Posted 9 Months Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

9 Months Ago

thank you, Nini...

appreciate your kind words.
j.

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Added on December 28, 2016
Last Updated on December 28, 2016

Author

jacob erin-cilberto
jacob erin-cilberto

Carbondale, IL



About
Originally from Bronx, NY, I live in Carbondale, Illinois...teach English at two community colleges and have been writing and publishing poetry since 1970. Friending works two ways. If we have had .. more..

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