Dragonflies in the Wind

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In describing my poems in an earlier blog I wrote, “Some are mildly offensive. Some are very offensive. None of them reference dragonflies or the wind.”
Well, ever since then I’ve known that I would eventually have to write a poem called “Dragonflies in the Wind”
So here it is.

I love New York
Because everybody smokes
You can walk into a playground smoking a cigarette
No one cares
A mom might even ask you to hold her baby for a minute while she digs through her bag
Which means that you have to do that maneuver where you have the cigarette dangling from one side of your mouth
While you talk goo goo talk out of the other side
And hope you don’t ash the baby
But the mom won’t really care ’cause she does it all the time

I love New York
Because you can pee anywhere
Not just if you’re a guy
I see women squatting in dark street corners too
I’ve never actually done it
But I could if I wanted to
And nobody would care

I love New York
Because people are always fighting in public
Sometimes in person
But more often on the phone
In some neighborhoods it’s some douchebag executive yelling at one of his (or her) underlings
In other areas it’s a woman screaming obscenities at her boyfriend
But there’s always at least one person making a lot of noise and airing all kinds of shit that would be better kept private
Oblivious to who’s listening
That would be me.
I love that shit

I love New York
Because it’s not spotlessly clean
Like Switzerland – or Colorado
Two places I have never visited, and never will
For that very reason
Too clean

I love New York
Because whatever you buy at the bodega
They put it in a little bag
Since chances are – no matter what it is
It might be illegal to partake of in public
I don’t drink – or do drugs
But I like to enjoy my diet Coke camouflaged inside a little black plastic bag
Gives me some street cred

I love New York
For all of the reasons that everyone else loves New York
And
For all of the reasons that many people would never want to live in New York
I’ll take the bad with the good
To me
The bad is the good
And some of the good is the bad
But that’s another story

I love New York
I also love
Dragonflies in the Wind

Unseen

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I had a very rough week (and missed my Friday posting) so for this week’s blog I’m borrowing from a time when I wrote serious poems – well, I wrote ONE serious poem. Here’s the entire output from my former foray into poetry

Unseen

The moon dips low
As the fingernails grow
On the corpses in their graves

A mirrorlike sea
Hides the mystery
Of a developing tsunami wave

The predawn calm
Is a soothing balm
For the sleeping souls unaware

A man crouches down
Over a corpse on the ground
And snips off a lock of hair

NOTIFICATION

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To anyone to whom I have made any sort of non-financial obligation
Including employers, friends, people I hardly know who for some reason I promised something
I am declaring TIME BANKRUPTCY
I am hereby absolved of any commitment made orally or in writing

I will not complete any work, or follow through on favors or social obligations that I may have made

This is legally binding under a little known (known only to me) code that I have established
Find out more at MYlesislation.gov

I plan to do nothing that is not completely selfish for at least one week – probably one month
Before incurring any new time commitment debt
I will sleep, read, daydream, stare into space and enjoy an anxiety free existence
Do not expect anything from me

In time, I will begin accruing new obligations that it will be nearly impossible for me to fulfill
But for now, forget anything that I promised to do
Don’t call, email, text or ring my doorbell
I will only answer if you have brought me food or gifts
And, in that case, just leave them outside the door

Is It Just Me?

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Or have you ever noticed that no matter what animal you make out of balloons, it always looks like balls.
balloonballs

(from l to r) balls, balls, OK – not so much, relatively harmless, balls, balls, balls, balls

kidsballoonballs<a <a

Who's the clown who gave these to a bunch of kids?

Avenue A (for Charlie Hawkins)

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Who would have thought we’d ever get old?
A lot of us didn’t
Quite a few of us didn’t even make it out of our 20s
ODs, suicides and violent deaths took a heavy toll
Survival wasn’t a priority

But we definitely lived.
Fuck, did we live
The scene was alive in a way that most people can’t even imagine

The vicinity of Thompkins Square Park and the corner of St. Mark’s and Avenue A was the epicenter.
By 7 or 8 o’clock every night the area was a thriving community of punks, skinheads, junkies, bikers and bums
The party went on until the early hours of the morning

There was a small deli on the corner run by Pakistanis
We bought our beer there – Colt 45, Old English, Budweiser
You’d scrape together enough change for a 40 ounce to share from a paper bag
Didn’t matter if it was warm as piss or if the homeless person sucking on it before you had scabs on his lips and a swollen belly like a starving African child.
It was beer.

Sometimes we’d gather up empties from around the park and cash them in for a fresh 40
I remember Big Charlie getting kicked out of the deli
The owner wouldn’t take back the empties
Charlie was pissed
You didn’t want to piss off Big Charlie

He stood on the corner across the street from the deli
And shot the bottles like missiles right through the store’s open door.
One of them hit the deli case and cracked it
“You’ll take these back motherfucker”
“Whether you want to or not”
Charlie was a former all star football player
Every one of those bottles hit its mark
Perfect touchdown passes.

Charlie died in a car accident.
It literally took a speeding truck to bring that gentle giant down.
It was hard to accept that someone so healthy and so vital and so happy
Was just
Gone

I’d say Rest in Peace
But I can’t imagine Charlie ever resting
He was one of the most vibrant people I’ve ever met
He was everybody’s friend.
And when he was around – something would be happening

I’m sure he’s laughing now
He was always laughing
He laughed when he launched the bottles at the deli
We all laughed
Except maybe the deli owner

I’m laughing now, thinking about you Charlie
Thanks for that