The Hudson nears the sea
and I gather my bags
arriving exhausted ready to charge
too few days here to find all the friends food
and famous places of New York
We’ll make a damn fine try anyway.
Art of the subway
appears in flip-book graffiti
in how to endure heat from the seventh level of hell
without screaming mad down tunnel dark.
Buried layers in all directions moving millions
with little complaint,
the choreography of turnstiles stairs and doors,
everyone on tempo and direction
I misstep and feel the wrath.
I was spotted and pursued by a hungry ghost
I attempted to smile a kindness
into her teary eyes
while not pressing coin into her hand
as I walked away.
Someone else will have to help her pay the boat man.
I’m trusting Brooklyn today
leaving lunch to launder
then abandoning the latter
to resume the former.
My journal unattended on tabletop,
all outfits for a month but one
turn unattended in dryer.
A diner staffed by models,
they look so strange
wiping down tables.
It’s fashion week the city over,
fabulous assholes vie for attention
and we’re told we can’t sit here.
I unholster my camera and create a show for two,
drinking martinis and smoking,
we own the rooftop by our combined weight
A railroad cum walkway,
the lounge chairs invite us to become cats;
the landscaping, monks.
And the windows of the Standard Hotel
officially encourage us to be voyeurs.
No sign outside,
the secret bar holds unimagined delights.
All the romance of absinthe and then some.
We feast and pay a dear and welcome price for
Locally sourced gourmet hot dog,
tension and puncture.
Meatballs sauced and served on
glistening vegetable beds
Lamb sliding into mouth pursued by potatoes
oiled into golden hipness.
Pure American indulgence demands
portabella deep-fried on top of chuck,
poured concrete cementing the shake,
perfect dinner in the park.
Squid you swim beautifully in garlic broth.
The soul does indeed hunger, especially in the rains
of early autumn,
for fried chicken and collard greens.
To walk, train, wait
is worth it for bloody marys with antipasti and oyster slaking thirst,
short rib hash and benedict
fortifying traveling bones.
Autumn is for runners,
Prospect Park is for recreation
but I can’t help
marking, stalking, devouring joggers
one by one.
I celebrate victory in the spray of my favorite fountain.
How do you handle
the dream of a lifetime
suddenly in your hands?
On the Hudson at twilight
Jersey basks in orange,
the dock that awaited the Titanic
glares in the fluorescence of a driving range.
The patriotic narrator
belabors the point,
Not knowing our past we’re doomed to repeat it,
which is why they’ve worked so hard to bury it
under the fuzzy blanket of patriotism.
Rain dampens the guidebook and our prospects
of finding where Dylan debuted Blowing In the Wind
so we cram in for Americanos,
remembering sweat we lived in for days
and the cool plunge of the Atlantic
on a topless beach a season away.
A last run, last french feast,
last struggle underground
to emerge on a train heading up the Hudson.
I have sen here,
like it or not I’m bound to return.
All photos by Noel Tendick