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Nat Lipstadt May 3
the spring mantra arrives with distinctive citified sparkles

a family of ducklings splash, mimicking young children,
shaking, spraying, squeaking, babies bath bathing,
jumping in and out of a fountain pool
of a tall-storied Manhattan apartment building,
the mother-leader attends them well for she recalls
the untimely end of the babies of last year,
lost to wanderlust on York Avenue,
cars and taxis as instruments of mass murdering,
but new spring is the season of new birth

the Cercis Siliquastrum tree trunk (!) oddly sprouts
unusual pink flowers
well before it’s branches grow up into a fully blossoming tree,
a signed spring time ritual, but since it is a/k/a, the Judas Tree,
we wonder if spring hints of Cerci Lannister’s fate betrayed,
in this, her final May dance, oh, which Judas brother/lover
will bring us a winter fin finale

the temperature control dial busted, the variability too wide,
the youngers are skipping the interregnum season,
going direct to elect shorts and T-shirt, while those who no longer bloom in the semi-warm, recall the wet chill of past evenings,
voting to dress defensively, wearing their aging skepticism
aware that all changes are exact crossing line-defined, wrapped in
medium weight coats, concealing embarrassing gloves in pocket,
decorative silk scarfs for non-decorative purposed,
all betting the under/over the spring is here all-in not yet sighted

the streets are busy, the momentary pleasantries
of warm sky and sun push the apartment dwellers out,
a magnetic force pulls us to the outside to exhale, in order to inhale,
guises manufactured excuses appear, a loaf of bread, a latte necessity,
the children desert happily their wintery confinement,
by pushing their own carriages, containing in their stead,
their lilting accented nannies, excited by their version of spring break

Me? toy shopping for this month brings rashers of birthdays,
more May galorey, singing come Dancer and Prancer, Ian and Isabel, Alex and not-a-baby anymore Wendy, and because the weather so pleasant, cautions ignored, the credit card swiped repeatedly, frequently and joyously, xmas reimagined, another May time ritual, rooted in the September month of *******, of staying warm, staving off winter *******, and winter planting for spring harvesting

children score grand-multiplicities for god made in his place
grand parental substitutes, each with two hands each equal,
so both must be filled with maypole ribbon, brightly colored
toy bags, presents wrapped in paper unicorns and all manner of
sporting *****, as we turn 2 and 6, 7 and who ate 8?

all that my eyes did see when we surfed strolled the streets,
vignettes fell like the spring rains, they, now, from daytime banished,
to after-midnight to do their breast feeding of tulips and weeds,
letting little children grow up snuggling in still over-heated rooms,
naked legs kicking off winter blankety snow remnants while dreaming of springing onwards and forward
into the party of life by inhaling nature’s

nature.
5-3-19  606pm
Nat Lipstadt Apr 2016
~took a walk in the city today,
and this happened in the O'Henry tradition~


the blind man crossing E. 15th,
does not look, nor does he care,
all foes on-coming,
come hither, he dares

his light is red,
yet his cane extended,
he click clacks steadily ahead,
unaware and unbeknownst,
his new step by step sidekick,
Sheriff Natty,
is writing an air poem to a
taxi driver with his
shotgun *******,
a NY gesture of
welcoming *******...

a green light means passage
is a taxi's right,
but my left shoe firm
attached to his bumper,
plus multiple looks mine,
any of which could ****,
his argumentation poses
do somewhat chill...

the sheriff of the city, his motto,
sic transit finger gloria

~

among the sadder sights
of city life
is contrast...

the dark-only coolness
of an Irish bar,
on a bright spring day
when life and love
is bud sprouting
while old white men,
on single soiled solitary stools,
their colored cheeks green
from the reflection of
TV emerald diamond fields,
sipping many pre-game $3
Guinness draughts

around the second inning,
they switch, onto
boilermakers to make
the languid afternoon stretch on,
this I know for sure,
for in the large gilded mirror
behind the bar,
see the barkeep's back asking me,
"what will it be for you
this fine spring day?"


~


next to the bar, in the corner market,
an old man's hands tremble in an old man's way,
in a way I only know thru his testimony,
as he does his daily self-feeding,
his wallet removed, fumbling for two
single soiled solitary one dollar bills.

the shopkeeper's fingers
beat the counter impatiently,
the old man's beer brown bagged,
transport ready, though the old one
rather be next door,
the extra Dollar saved causes
a last minute delay, shaky fingers,
asking for an extra purchase,
a small can of dog food please,
so he can watch the game at home
and share the same meal
with the man's real and best,
and only true spring weather friend

~

the mayor proclaimed as a matter of
public safety, public decorum,
a pack of three or more woman
wearing all black Lululemon athletic wear,
were now banned from being outside after nightfall

later this night, in Carl Schurz Park,
many vamp(ire) voices were heard
singing the lyrics to
"i want to do bad things to you,"
but they staked him only
to a free color reeducation

~

these takes I witnessed,
all or some,
these tales I took
some or all,
from beneath my skin,
where city streets grit
injected beneath my skin
came with the title,
City Boy,
and honored me
with its O'Henry life and lore,
and the vision to believe what is
in my bloodstream
just another true tale of life in Manhattan.com~
published her 4/14/14
Ashley Sep 2018
City lights
And stop lights
And the stars you can't see shining so bright
Hate is like the stoplights you can see
But we are blind to love
Blind to love because of who we have become
Because of how we look at ourselves and others
The tortures we have all faced
Because of eachother
Bryden Jul 2018
The occupant sips wine,
*** burning fingers,
her only company
are the cockroaches
that sanctuary in the wallpaper
which peels like sunburn.
Faded linoleum floor
ceiling drips
mirror cracked
blank face staring back.
She sits alone,
grown children flown
like her husband.
Stereo whines from her night stand
‘I have a prince who is waiting
and a kingdom downtown’,
as she gazes through the window
(cracked with cold)
through weepy condensation,
hair knotted with stress
not long enough to let down
for the nobody who waits outside.
Clothes hang like ghosts
suspended from lines,
police cars shriek,
dogs without leashes rumage
through last nights meal.
She toasts to the moon,
lonely like her.
Unnoticed,
outshone
by blaring lights.
She pours another glass,
as the moon tucks in its trailing robe,
dreading the dawn that begins to break.
Bryden Jul 2018
He has a bench in Central Park,
a step on Seventh Avenue,
a corner on Broadway.
But home is a feeling rather than a location,
something those who have a lock and key and
a mortgage fee will never understand.
The gatekeepers tell him
‘That bench is for people to sit on’,
so he grabs his sleeping bag with beat up weathered hands,
and leaves the park,
realising ‘people’ is another category in which he does not belong.
Autumn is here
so winter is near.
A chance to rush to snowy mountains with Chanel scarves
to escape ‘dreary’ lives.
He takes his vacation
from park to doorway,
views aren’t as nice but it dulls the bite.
As night drapes over Manhattan, he zig zags between expressionless crowds,
invisible
like an unread word.
He seeks a corner just off Broadway (the bright lights numb his loneliness).
In soiled clothes and old scuffed shoes,
he sits on newspaper wrinkled by other hands
and watches passers-by with bloodshot eyes,
bills burning in their pockets.
A man with shoes shinier than dreams
soils his corner with a *** of spit.
He wonders,
do I belong everywhere, or nowhere at all?
And he pulls out his guitar and begins to sing,
October cough thick with illness,
‘They say
the neon lights are always bright
on Broadway’.
Bryden Jul 2018
The buildings of Upper East Side swell with exhaust fumes
and the roads sweat foul-smelling tar,
while Central Park drips green and magenta,
as friends **** on strawberries
beneath the last of the summer sun.
Butterflies chase children,
children chase kites,
dodging marigolds
that suffocate between blades of grass.
Bird song and police siren compete for centre stage,
and clammy suited men seek shades of green on their lunch break
escaping their lives between midday and one.

In the sky
rafts of white cloud crafts the arrival of autumn,
the park drinks the last of September’s rays.
Maples blush as October lures in the park with a lullaby.
Once-glycerined green leaves
burned by a summer sun
form parachutes that glide
left  
        to
               right
and spill like coloured pencil shavings.
Warm currents retreat the advancing brisk amber sunsets,
submerging the park in an oily gold blur.
Clouds, swans, boats,
all float upwards
as Autumn peacefully carries Summer to its end.
Bryden Jul 2018
I push the button,
3
2
1
The jaws of the train clunk as its mouth opens,
the 9am crowd surging through its hollow body,
eying up the row of sickly plastic benches.
The wheels tighten, I loosen my tie,
off to the office, I sigh,
as I pull out today’s ‘New York Times’.

My eyes drift towards the woman across from me.
A fragrance of citrus and strawberry drifts off her shoulder
as she plumps her pout in the screen of her smartphone.
A bead of sweat poised on her collarbone
glitters like the diamantes on her nails.

We slow,
screeching against the rusted tracks
before the machine-lady hybrid speaks:
‘East-
a split second pause
-Sixty Seven Street’.
No one gets off, so we simply sit
beneath the sizzle of electric bulbs,
their garish light numbed by ***** glass
that cradles the bodies of last week’s flies.

Like an aged rattlesnake, the train creaks and hisses through the tunnel.
I’m attacked by a river of thick black hair
belonging to an olive-skinned woman who yaps into her cellphone:
‘no, no, quiero ver Times Square!’
I close my eyes and listen as her tongue rolls and dives
taking a bite of my bagel from Starbucks.

‘East-
anticipation
-Seventy Two Street’.
Although preoccupied with different thoughts,
expressions
destinations
the bodies on the carriage drift and sway with the motion of the train,
as it stops
and starts once more.

Two children in uniforms twirl around the carriage,
their laughter more electric
than the current that bristles below our feet.
A man
tickled by the dreadlock that sweeps over his face,
looks on with jeans so baggy
his legs melt into the seat.
The Jamaican flag blares from his t-shirt.

Next to him, a man bakes in a moth-eaten waistcoat
clutching a wallet with quivering fingers.
I follow his gaze to a picture of a woman
black and white with coffee stained edges.
His wrinkles deepen as he smiles at his
wife?
alive?
I notice glittery pools of the past forming in his eyes,
perhaps not.

‘East-
my stop
-Seventy Nine Street’.
As I glance down at the platform’s monotonous shades of concrete,
and brush the dust from my grey tweed suit,
I think to myself
how colourful Upper-East Side is.
I shall never stop travelling on the 9am subway to Seventh Avenue.
Without it,
how boring my life would be.
Without it,
I wouldn’t be me.
Bryden Jul 2018
Manhattan bathes in lilac-stained dawn,
patiently waiting for a new day to form.
Skyscrapers tickled by the flicker of confused lights
on
or
off?
Night
or
day?
they wonder
whilst light meets dark,
nodding heads
as they pass each other by.
Taxis creep around corners,
collecting the last of the night raiders,
breath sour and eyes wine-weakened,
allergic to morning light.
Cars groan and begin to carve today’s trails
exhaust pipes snoring
as they huff out polluted clouds into smokeless sky.
The 6.a.m. sun crowns The Empire State Building,
and glazes a million windows like honey-roasted ham.
Chrysler squints,
May’s rays bounce off her bronze-blushed walls.
Sleepless wanderers now sleepy crowds,
wine bottles now coffee cups.
Pigeons flutter between dragging feet,
pecking pavements,
catching the odd petal from the honey-blossoms
that stand like angels amongst grey steel.
A sea of suits cluster at the crossing,
people politely covering yawns
as they wait for the green man to give them instruction,
unsure whether the button has even been pushed.
Charlie Jul 2018
And so the song flows -
a messy trace of barbiturate haze,
the song flows,
tinged with a red-eyed, cathartic
sort of sparkle about it in the dark,
like the backalley streetlamps by my window
at one in the morning.

July 1st-
I take a step outside, climb to the roof.
My eyes swell from the sunlight,
glasses steam up from the heat.
I have no need for lifting my *** off these sheets anymore but to write.
Manhattan rooftop, why did you have to betray me?
There was a time when
you were the glistening silvertoned backdrop to all of my surreptitious loves
as I sat on you,
idly humming jazz,
peacefully watch the go-and-come
of the synagogue pouring into the
streets below,
pitifully bemused
at the concept of dejection.
You once gave me a view of opportunity,
and ever-alert, always-foreseeing eyes that could have seen all the way to the buildings of Stamford.
Now I'm eighteen and terribly myopic.

What at all at this point is to exist
with implacable certainty?

Manhattan rooftop,
Tell me that
solipsism is the universal truth,
then I will not feel as alone.
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