I am Bartleby i
Aug08

I am Bartleby i

“It never meant juvenile delinquents, it meant characters of a special spirituality who didn’t gang up but were solitary Bartlebies staring out the dead wall window of our civilization . . . ” Jack Kerouac I am Bartleby, So don’t bother me The narrator say “the easiest way of life is the best” That, too, is my bray, don’t press it “a bit of wreck in the mid Atlantic” Sailed from Perth to Niantic So let’s not get frantic “No; I...

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Melvillian Flat
Aug06

Melvillian Flat

There’s something about this second-floor Red Bank flat that hints of Melville, poor Bartleby scribbling away at his lonely desk, (or Kerouac when he took the job in the Hartford filling station and typed away gloomy hours). Maybe it’s the curve of the rounded windows or the rectangular window facing the street with its late nineteenth- century commercial buildings or the hardwood flooring with its long planks or the kitchen stool I...

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Of the Beautiful Alene Lee
Aug01

Of the Beautiful Alene Lee

It was Paradise Alley so long ago In the alphabet downtown east Lived a subterranean in clouds of strong dark tea By the name of Alene Lee San Fran or New York City Names, places changed but ‘tis the same Heavenly Lane and hipster games Pillow talk and pushcart walks Of the beautiful Alene Lee Of the beautiful Alene Lee He was young and drunk and jazzed She younger and cool and sweet High cheekbones and velvet slacks She was brown and...

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Fracas is a Bar
Jul27

Fracas is a Bar

Fracas is a bar I live not far Oh, the place is full of history Involving many a cop and car A big melee comes to memory About the night Of the smashing fist fight In the parking lot And not a little but a lot From near and yon two hundred folks Online zine screamed and spoke The place shut down With nary a frown But soon reopened Sharply spoken About hush-hush dollars And boy, folks hollered Things calmed down In the town But now new...

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“To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Nothing” i
Jul22

“To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Nothing” i

The title of the William Butler Yeats poem “To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Nothing” makes me cringe. Is it kind to encourage a friend whose talent may be nonexistent, or is it kinder to speak plainly, in other words, tell the truth? Friend, it’s my unfortunate obligation to say you have no talent in this area and must give this up, the sooner the better, because you‘re wasting everyone’s time and making yourself crazy and are...

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Carousel Gone
Jul18

Carousel Gone

“I hitch-hiked to Asbury Park . . . when I got there, I was exhausted—” i Carousel gone “No plans, lady, just making the building stable. Keep away from the machine.” Enable me, construction man, to see beyond coarse gritty sand Mermaid vamp and debauch Rests upon a tarnished couch Where goest dream place childhood? Face the ocean where once we stood Soggy foggy July morn Hung over and still forlorn Parking deck hangs undone In the...

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Vanity of July
Jul16

Vanity of July

Tonight it pours for the first time in three weeks In the hot humid heat of July I watch from second floor window As Red Bank streets puddle Girls carrying packages run down narrow alley Boys stand in a doorway ready to make mad dash Happy to see rain wash dry streets For the first time it’s quiet here I like the sound of rain And flash of lightening Thunder Empty waterfront streets I wish it would rain all summer And stay cool...

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Red Banks
Jul08

Red Banks

Train whistles blow past Edward Hopper Early Sunday morning red brick buildings Long sad golden windows whisper intrigues Always watching me The sun sets in the West on the brick and windowpanes As I look down upon the Navesink My heart sinks, sank, sunk What am I doing here on these red banks? What am I doing any place? I woke up and didn’t know where I was Fixx across from my window I fix I fixed I have fixed i Fix the Fixx, a wharf...

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