To New York


Of course I'm not happy that three times
I've come to you and three times
I've been a victim of leaving my car unattended too long
too romantic in this
City of giants, city of ants
I speed up and down your red middle east avenues
I maneuver stealthily through your streets of eccentricity
I'm not here for your Folk City annual Bob Dylan sound-alike contest
Hello? Sami Beckett here, got a play opening off-Broadway,
off 8th Avenue, on 42nd.
Wait for me in front of the Clurman.
The street is my ashtray, I shall not want for expired students,
gang-bang orangutans, yippies chanting
" no nukes, no narks, no nations,
bring that warmongin' son of a bitch Reagan to his knees "

My pigeons are heroic bombers in the dawn's early light
(knock knock) Who's there, there? Readers. Readers? Who?
Readers who are sprinkled beside the baseball diamonds in Central Park,
carriers of 21st century diseases, meet mace-in-the-face gangs, who
terrorize windshields with wet rags and bones for fingers,
just depress lever against them.
What a catastrophe of capitalism.

It takes four white policemen, five white policemen with bats,
six white policemen with guns, seven white policemen with sirens
wailing the Columbus Avenue blues,
to subdue a resisting black woman in white shorts,
twist her wrists with crooked hands­p;
Let us make man in the image of this city.

You just can't get a better deal, he confessed, make a hundred thousand
nylon wristbands with zippers (for cash and keys) at a dollar forty, retails at seven
dollars, Walter J. Thompson's interested, Club Med will pick up fifty thousand,
Kellogg's is interested, get it? It could be a coupon prize, so, what d'you say?
Want a pickle? no charge, there you go. Have a nice day.

Pick the red. Put your money down. Everybody wins.
Try your luck, sir, no money down.
The corner of the red card is curled.
I decide to turn up a black. "He's blind," they cry.

It's a perfect night on Flatbush Avenue, coming off the Manhattan Bridge
" does she need me like she pretends"
Tonight Marlene will sleep on the carpet in her sleeping bag
and not being able to sleep will lie next to me not being able to make love to her.
I regret not staying up all night with her, kicking cans down 6th Avenue,
singing love songs, reading two-day-old newspapers in allnight restaurants
with salsa pulsating through the air-conditioned air.