Friday, September 30, 2011

Thanks To Mom

Thrice my mom has come to me
To nurse me back from surgery

For a knee, a back, and fractured foot
To city streets she took

Picking up meds, food, and a treat or two
To lift me out of recovery blues

Watching movie marathons together in bed
‘Til the effect of painkillers knocked me out dead

Forced to shower on a chair
My head in the sink to wash my hair

She stood by my side along busy streets
To offer her hand when I felt weak

None of these tasks were ever too much
To yield a complaint, objection, or fuss

Not every mother is as caring and strong
But, lucky for me, this is my mom!


Monday, September 26, 2011

Lost Smile

Has anyone seen her smile?
It’s quite contagious, spreading all around Manhattan isle

Normally, it’s difficult to miss
Like sunshine illuminating the darkest abyss

I last saw it peak cheek-to-cheek on a brisk spring day
Radiating across her face when he looked her way

Its warmth penetrating her admirer’s core
But since that day it’s been seen no more

What a pity if it’s gone for good
Fallen to the ground and left where he stood.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Walk a Mile

If you walked a mile in my shoes,
Which pair would you choose
What streets would you cruise?

If you walked a mile in my shoes,
Would you feel the fatigue of years of city walking
Or have the stamina to take a pair of sneakers jogging?

If you walked a mile in my shoes,
Would you slide into designer heels
And saunter past velvet ropes to posh events and Michelin three star meals?

If you walked a mile in my shoes,
Would you cross the streets with purpose and speed,
Shunning the sluggard, begging out of hunger and need?

If you walked a mile in my shoes,
Would you stumble on uneven ground
And gather yourself after you went down?

If you walked a mile in my shoes,
Would you pause to pick up that shiny, new penny
And wish for the same thing that eludes so many?

Because if you walked a mile in my shoes,
You’d know the dream does not come easy
In this brutally competitive, cutthroat city.


Thursday, September 22, 2011


Siblings on a subway
Giggling and gabbing aloud
In fake Long Island accents
Strangers try to figure out

Up all night bonding
Watching Buffalo ‘66
Vincent Gallo sporting tight, red pants
Spanning time in photo booth pics

Madge’s Confessions at the Garden
Hitting clubs ‘til 4AM
Gallivanting around downtown
Indulging our every whim

Waiting in line for Magnolia cupcakes
Eating more butter cream than we can bear
All of these Manhattan experiences
Something only my sister and I share

Friends forever, cohorts in crime
In any city, any time.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

City Pests

How doth the big, black rat
Improve his healthy gut?
By scavenging food around the flat
From fuzzy cheese to rotten nut!

How craftily he sculpts his nest
How noisily he spreads the trash
And cares not about the mess
Only munching his scrappy stash!


How doth the slow, gray pigeon
Improve his mating luck?
By approaching tails most forbidden
With an odd and awkward strut!

How rarely he preens his feathers
How lazily he spreads his wings
And in any kind of weather
An awful cooing is how he sings!


Sunday, September 11, 2011

My South Stars

In a city foreign to me
you were my guide
as I emerged from a mind boggling mass transit maze
two towering beacons of comfort
shooting solidly into the Gotham skyline
my shining South Stars
navigating me around these city streets.

Then one severely clear Tuesday morning in September
when not a blemish touched the sky
I stared dumbstruck down Seventh Avenue
where hours earlier you were bathed in a sea of blue
now plumes of ominous smoke surrounded and erased you
leaving behind cinder covered remains
and a lingering smell of death that crept north
suspended over the city for days.

Eight million silenced
unsettling in a city that never sleeps
streets left desolate
except for the faces of the missing masses
wallpapering hospitals,  churches,  police precincts,  and firehouses
a traumatic trail of tears
their images haunting
forever seared in my memory.

I wandered aimlessly
guided by the urgent call of sirens from fire trucks and ambulances
the only sound that filled the air
but my journey was cut short at Canal
yellow police tape and security posts erected there
rescue crews mounting mounds of rubble
your powerful fa├žade disintegrated
except for a single steel beam rising out of the ashes.

Days and weeks passed
now, ten years have gone by
that bearded man was shot down in the Pakistan sand
and I am drawn to a new light in the sky
where I can stand in your footprints reflecting on you and say
you gave me courage to stay.


Friday, September 9, 2011

A Letter To Irene


The busiest global center cleared its calendar for you
Shutting down mass transit systems in your path
Weather bulletins posted and your presence boasted
For days the world awaited your wrath

Touted more than the week’s seismic hiccup
A phenomenon of epic scale
Lines wrapped blocks for food and water
In case electricity failed

Evacuations carried out along coastlines
To escape surges of flooding waves
Windows boarded and sandbags stacked high
Ensuring homes and lives stayed safe

But, alas, during those climatic hours
All you delivered were gusty breezes and light showers.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

How To Hang Like a Hipster

Traveling into Williamsburg
All aboard the “L”
Are hipster teens in skinny jeans
Their vintage Converse are telltale

Indulging creative aspirations
Bret plays in a rock ‘n’ roll folk band
They just scored their first gig last night
Mel makes art with her feet and hands

If you hope to catch glimpse of them
No snooty wine bars for this crew
They play pinball in beer gardens
While chugging mugs of local brews

They buy organic at green markets
Attend prestigious schools
And pay rent with Daddy’s money
‘Cause real jobs are so old school

I’ll offer this bit of advice to you
If you’re looking to make the hipster cut
Don’t wash your hair or shave your face
Instead grow some scruff and a small gut


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Dormitory Security Guard

The dormitory security guard is a Jamaican woman
With a plump, middle-age figure and stoic stare.
She seldom smiles at the students she’s hired to protect
Simply watching them come and go, checking their ID tags
And only speaking when prompted in a Jamaican jive
That’s thick with accent and difficult to understand.
Taken for granted and unappreciated by residents,
She works a thankless, but necessary job.