‘The New Sixth Avenue Ethic’ (November/1997)

it’s about the freedom of women
to shake their Indian asses
on the avenue, at midnight.
ask me again and I will not reply.

its about the strains of a rusted homeless tenor
pumped through with the depest blues
and more invisible soul(s)
breaking down the checklist of suffering
in this lifetime agony
through an instrument

and despite his empty belly the sounds run full
from the subway platform 30 ft. below
and up
through the bedrock and milk crates
and up
to find air beyond the grates that feet find purchase on

for a moment

as the masses swirl on

in a city where nature can’t help them

and if all the fluorescents went out
we’d be unable to read the poems on the page
and life would still be inconclusive

ask me then and I’ll admit my arrogance
but at least something was written
for men
who expect salvation from the milk of women
in any sympathetic destruction of skin
or rescue
from the memory
of soft lips

when they take the exclamation marks off the typweriters
it makes it impossible to speak with conviction
and ask the right questions
but we kept on down the avenue regardless
and we spoke in iambic couplets

she and I.

29 June 2011, 07:52