memories of East 99th Street

memories of East 99th Street

A Poem by

Songs of light fading to shadow. The intrinsic emptiness of all things...

1. after ballet at the Met

Barry and his boyfriend
argued in the kitchen
who should touch my hand
and who should simply flirt

my American wife laughed loudly
as I blushed
she said
this is unbelievable

f*****g unbelievable

2. black snow

Jersey ashes fell in flakes
through Manhattan's Summer air - 
kitchen roaches
slow motion
running from the light

3. vacation

the woman upstairs said
I'm driving to California -
keep an ear out for burglars
it should be okay
there's a diamond grill on the window

when I called the police
they broke down the door 
but the robbers, I guess,
like me, were afraid of Big Guns
and had taken the best and fled

they'd cut round the frame
that lay on the floor
the bars still intact

4. together

you held me
under the black umbrella
as we stood on the roof
and talked about stripping
making love in the rain

we didn’t
we knew that someone would catch us

what a waste
nobody came

5. out of another era

it was hot
I sat on the steps
with some guy I had met
getting pizza

he offered me 500 dollars
to take a parcel to Paris
nothing illegal
a gift from his friend
that had to be taken by hand

when I gave my wife
the name of his friend
she picked up her copy of Time magazine

he even looked like a gangster
straight from some
black and white movie

6. links

I took the old lady for Autumn walks
in her wheelchair
to give her some company
and get some money
to pay back the Greek
who gave me free pizza
when nothing but holes
weighed down my pockets

we skimmed the history
of Native Americans
looked at the bones of their past
when the French, the Spanish
the English,
the brand new Americans
came like an ice age
and crushed them

she'd written a book - 
I read it for hours in the pizza parlour
just to stay warm
when they cut off the power
and the fridge defrosted
and icicles kissed the pipes
and unpapered the walls

7. failed American

we split in the Spring
after the thing with the
Puerto Ricans

you're a dreamer, she said
no-one makes money from poems
or writing a book with no end - 
get a job or go home

I thought of slitting my wrists
but came back to England instead

8. nothing without me

at the time
these pictures had meat
I hungered for life
and they filled my belly

now they’re just scraps on a plate
fading to things
I think I remember

they became me
they travel with me
they end with me

© 2011

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Black - thanks for your comments. That's one of the things I love about poetry: the way it allows the poet to express the same thing in so many different ways

Posted 9 Years Ago

real nice imaginary,
though the word choice would be different with me
i like the way you express your feelings

Posted 9 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on August 8, 2011
Last Updated on August 20, 2011
Tags: Love, life, pride, youth, ageing, downfall, sad, new york


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