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Austin Reed Sep 13
Autumn air;
How you steady me.

Dewy overcast;
Where have you hid the sun?

Swayful trees;
I bought this sweater for you.

Mirrored puddle;
You can’t fool these boots.

Crowding pigeons;
Find your own bagel!

Taxi driver,
Over here! Hey! Over here!
Mitch Prax Jul 15
NY
I love you
louder than
the city that never sleeps.
New York,
it's got nothing on us,
baby.
In Sonya's
superfluous court
this decision
there stunk
and she's
given stellar
away to
see theirs  
bleed in
a vacuum
of pride
as her
coat was
died blue
in a
vehicular suicide
of labyrinth.
Tom Atkins May 6
It has been a year since you visited the city.
walked its streets with its crowds of infinite variety,
an anonymous soul elbow to elbow with strangers,
Faces and fashion and more than that, an energy
so unlike your sanctuary in far away Vermont.

You need this, every so often. It feeds you,
a reminder of the power of mass and masses,
your mind awash with the vast mix of America
all gathered in one place, dreams, and nightmares
and side hustles, a place of promise and fear,
everyone going somewhere, doing, reaching,
faces animated. There is purpose here, urgency,

a reminder

of what you fled, and why you come back,
grateful for your place of peace, but aware
that too much peace and you fall into rot,
that yours is a life barely in balance, a needful life,
needful less of things than places, experiences,
the soul of places and people unlike yourself.
like salt in the stew, it flavors you, always in danger
of too much or too little.

Here is the Hassidic Jew in his worn black coat and hat.
Here is the Puerto Rican girl, bright and loud.
Here are the suits,
the old Italian woman pulling her cart of groceries,
the tourists, the hustlers and homeless,
the old Russian men playing chess in the park,
The Arabs gathered for their thick black coffee,
Here are the hayseeds and vagabonds like me,
passing through, thieves of energy that no one misses.
There is more than enough to go around.

Here are carts of food and Gucci knock offs.
Of diners just outside theatres. Hotels
for the rich and poor sit side by side.
Crowds outside Penn Station, steady streams
rise and fall in and out of subway stations.
Water towers and gardens on the roofs.
Carts of clothes on racks roll by you as you walk.
Here are all the things you are not,
somehow becoming you. You should be lost here
but you never are, It feels like home. Not a place of peace,
but a place of constant becoming.
You smile when you are there, even if you leave exhausted.

It is your pilgrimage, Once, twice a year,
But not this year.
TH=he city has grown dark and dangerous.
Time Square is still full of billboards and video screens
and hardly a soul to see them.
We are warned away in this plague year,
the power of the place gone inside, waiting out death,
and you mourn the lost,
and you wonder,
when you can return, and how, and what will be left
for strangers like me.
I love New York City, and watching what they have gone through and are still going through, has been heartbreaking,
Solicitation
by Michael R. Burch

He comes to me out of the shadows, acknowledging
my presence with a tip of his hat, always the gentleman,
and his eyes are on my eyes like a snake’s on a bird’s—
quizzical, mesmerizing.

He ***** his head as though something he heard intrigues him
(though I hear nothing) and he smiles, amusing himself at my expense;
his words are full of desire and loathing, and though I hear,
he says nothing that I understand.

The moon shines—maniacal, queer—as he takes my hand and whispers
Our time has come . . . and so we stroll together along the docks
where the sea sends things that wriggle and crawl
scurrying under rocks and boards.

Moonlight in great floods washes his pale face as he stares unseeing
into my eyes. He sighs, and the sound crawls slithering down my spine,
and my blood seems to pause at his touch as he caresses my face.
He unfastens my dress till the white lace shows, and my neck is bared.

His teeth are long, yellow and hard. His face is bearded and haggard.
A wolf howls in the distance. There are no wolves in New York. I gasp.
My blood is a trickle his wet tongue embraces. My heart races madly.
He likes it like that.

Published by Dowton Abbey, Aesthetically Pleasing Vampires, Into the Unknown, Since Halloween is Coming, and Poetry Life & Times. Keywords: vampire, werewolf, supernatural, New York, gentleman, blood, neck, teeth, canines, wolves, desire, loathing, moon, snake, bird, mesmerizing, reptilian
El Dorado
by Michael R. Burch

It's a fine town, a fine town,
though its alleys recede into shadow;
it's a very fine town for those who are searching
for an El Dorado.

Because the lighting is poor and the streets are bare
and the welfare line is long,
there must be something of value somewhere
to keep us hanging on
to our El Dorado.

Though the children are skinny, their parents are fat
from years of gorging on bleached white bread,
yet neither will leave
because all believe
in the vague things that are said
of El Dorado.

The young men with the outlandish hairstyles
who saunter in and out of the turnstiles
with a song on their lips and an aimless shuffle,
scuffing their shoes, avoiding the bustle,
certainly feel no need to join the crowd
of those who work to earn their bread;
they must know that the rainbow's end
conceals a *** of gold
near El Dorado.

And the painted “actress” who roams the streets,
smiling at every man she meets,
must smile because, after years of running,
no man can match her in cruelty or cunning.
She must see the satire of “defeats”
and “triumphs” on the ambivalent streets
of El Dorado.

Yes, it's a fine town, a very fine town
for those who can leave when they tire
of chasing after rainbows and dreams
and living on nothing but fire.

But for those of us who cling to our dreams
and cannot let them go,
like the sad-eyed ladies who wander the streets
and the junkies high on snow,
the dream has become a reality
—the reality of hope
that grew too strong
not to linger on—
and so this is our home.

We chew the apple, spit it out,
then eat it "just once more."
For this is the big, big apple,
though it is rotten to the core,
and we are its worm
in the night when we squirm
in our El Dorado.

This is an early poem of mine. I believe I wrote the first version during my “Romantic phase” around age 16 or perhaps a bit later. It was definitely written in my teens because it appears in a poetry contest folder that I put together and submitted during my sophomore year in college. Keywords/Tags: El Dorado, big apple, worms, New York City, junkies, streetwalkers, hookers, prostitutes, actors, actresses, hustlers, conmen
Sky Feb 26
the rain makes the asphalt look sad and pregnant.

i turn my head for one moment and a lonely 7 train skitters by, barely grazing my left ear. i close my eyes. i close my eyes because if you look, you get sad and that's how you lose. so i look down at my feet at the soft, shimmering asphalt instead

and i watch the train through the asphalt. it torpedoes by, one silver frame at a time, like a silent film still bobbing around in its chemical bath. i continue to watch, from a safe distance.

(its like looking out the window at the cars zooming by. its all fun and safe until you reach your hand out a bit too far and the next thing you know, some ******* car up and runs away with it.
its like marriage.)

except im in college and the wheels of the train never quite touch the ground, but hover, hover over like some kind of homeless intoxicated guardian angel stranded in a sprawling urban desert.

(he lies on top a one of those BigBellys, lies on his stomach, sandaled feet dangling just inches from the ground. blink blink, goes the BigBelly. Gabriel groans,
incomprehensible muttering)

and the train throws bleachy yellow squares of light throw themselves onto upon the pregnant asphalt in fits of just destructive laughter and when they hit the ground by that time they're already hugging themselves, hugging and shaking all over like fuuuuuuck, it's sooo cold in here (in my body!) each one of em murmuring in a foreign tongue about how someone keepzon etching street names into the bathroom walls

Thayer and Broadway at 3AM on a Wednesday morning is someone's oasis, mine for as long as i stand here, my mind stumbling back n forth from one airpod to the other as i feel like im sinking down, down into the soft squishy asphalt wit the weight of my backpack making my shoulders touch the floor wit my bleachy yellow head dangling from my neck as i blink needily / cravingly / searchingly at a sidewalk that stares back at me with the most deadest honest (to godest) blankest expression i ever seen on a no-body

and when i look into its eyes i can see myself but im standing in the  middle of Times Square and -- hey -- everythings looking up! but it cant be me because im here at Thayer and Broadway dangling my head and angling it AWAY from the passing train because if you look, you get sad, you think of home, and when you think of home, thats when you really know you've lost, not sure what but you've lost and you probably cant even actually go home after youve lost because, well, mother**** it you've lost and life just likes to call you a cuck and hit you in the throat like that

but i wouldn't know, i haven't gotten that far yet
here i am standing at the intersection of Thayer and Waterman. the rain glistens on the deserted streets and it's beautiful, but really, all i want to do is go home.
The Calm Jan 21
Poems about love,

Walking through an evergreen forest
Leaves of yellow and orange and red
The morning sky bursting through the canopy as we sit in our tent drinking coffee
Excited with what today's hike will bring
When you love nature you always want to be close it
Because I love you , I always want to be close to you
The engagement ring in my pocket gives me inspiration
I want to be as tough as the diamonds that crown its head
I want to be for you, as consistent and unending as the ring itself
So here we are, getting closer to nature, closer to each other.
You, unaware of even how much closer, I want to get to you.


Hues of black and blue with ambient lights of vintage setting.
Nights in Paris and Marseilles near the water,  candles lighting our dinner,
The flame giving my eyes the gift of seeing your beautiful face.
Cheese and grapes, chocolate and wine
Yet, the only taste I crave is that of your lips
To smell your perfume and touch your smooth skin.
Your smile , rivaling every star in the night's sky
Your soul, lecturing the moon on how to glow
Your heart, teaching me how to pray.
Because you exist, I know there must be a God out there.
Because you are here with me. I must pray, that God allows me to stay.

Bright lights and tall buildings as far as the eye can see.
We walk along the Hudson hand in hand.
We keep each other warm.
The autumn winds are cold but I hold your hand in mind. your sweet precious fingers grasp mine
You may not notice it, or maybe you do?
You stare into the horizon but here, I pull you close
I kiss you, as if we were in a movie
Nothing in the world do the Angels pay closer attention to than this kiss
Because as I surely live, so would I die for you.
As surely as my heart beats, it skips a beat when I am with you.
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