Monthly Archives: February 2011

you gave me freight elevator eyes at the sycamore (on 118 cortelyou road between e 11th st and westminster road) – m4w – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

-our 37th birthday-

*by someone who usually despises singing*

(frankie leone, just a man)

 *

*she invites me over around ten pm.

i start the trek to the church ave q stop near the border of flatbush, brooklyn. the subways can be ruthless with a person’s time. it takes an hour to get there.

soon after arriving i realize i’ve forgotten condoms. it’s her roommate’s birthday at twelve am this heartlessly cold night. she realizes she’s forgotten a gift.

rock, paper, scissor, shoot.

“enjoy your stroll baby,” my voice winks.

her middle finger extends close to my face before she walks into the night.*

*

*entenmanns’s cake- vanilla. chocolate frosting.

three pack of condoms- lubricated trojans. black box.

can of 4 loko- twelve percent alcohol by volume. twenty-three point five ounces.

birthday candles- twelve pack. blue and pink.

she comes back with it all in a plastic bag emblazoned with a smiley face. after a few moments of laughter she speaks. her words are saturated with embarrassed amusement.

“my sweet bodega man will never look at me the same again.”*

*

*while his candles burn she sings with sugary affection in short shorts. my lack of enthusiasm’s jerry-rigged out of sight. i sing in a wife-beater and boxer briefs. he wears an oversized queens college t-shirt. his voice trembles with ecstatic gratitude. i initially mistake it for panic.

the living room’s dark. he’s perched on their sofa bathed in the indifferent glow of a television.*

*

*he’s turned thirty-seven years old. his body’s pale, pink, and portly.

at twenty five he left the orthodox jewish community he’d spent his entire life in. he’s unsuccessful as a professional and with women. it’s clear he feels he doesn’t belong anywhere. i know that when i see it.

he articulates all this shortly after our introduction.

him and i converse longer than necessary. her expression urges me to move onto the night’s next activity. he rambles awkwardly and i hear a self-destructive obsession with cards lady luck’s forced into his grip.

he makes me uncomfortable. i ask myself why but can’t put my tattooed finger on it.

i don’t know it now but even though we’ve never met before we’ve known each other our whole lives. looking at him i see my mirror image.*

*

*she has multiple roommates and thin walls. this considered it could be said the volume of our morning sex is inconsiderate.

all good things must come to an end. it does.

audible foot steps walk away from the bedroom door moments after. i ask, “is it just me being paranoid or did he listen outside the door?”

she whispers, “i’d love to tell you, and myself, he didn’t. it’s pretty likely we just gave a birthday performance though.”

i muffle my laugh and sing happy birthday with genuine enthusiasm.*

*

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*


Protected: at legion (on 790 metropolitan between graham ave and humboldt st) you didn’t understand why i wasn’t thrilled to be an artist – m4w – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

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i only heard the words i wanted to sitting across from you at papacito’s (on 999 manhattan ave between green st and huron st) – m4w – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

 *

-an idea, until she wasn’t-

*by someone showing a wry smile

to a fair truth*

(frankie leone, just a man)

 *

*she’s fucked up*

 *

*like rapaccini’s daughter

the frankenstein monster

or a sweet young thing hustling a hustler

smiling hearts disfigured

and winking souls into hospice

 -

while those

garnet lips and robin’s egg eyes

are worshipped

 -

they hallow pride

and molotov dignity

-

namely mine

-

while i ask for every orgasmic twist

of her beautiful switchblade

she’s yelling truth

 -

and i’m choosing

to hear whispers

of my favorite lies*

*

*i’m fucked up.*

 *


you turned me into captain ahab at nyc bikes (on 149 havemeyer st between s 1st st and s 2nd st) – m4w – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

 

 

-(lost at sea on a) brooklyn bike ride-

*by someone that’ll ride until

(or into) the grave*

(frankie leone, just a man)

 

 

*a ship moves without logical course

fragrant hopefulness filling its sails

 

murky hopelessness slit at it’s bow

an exquisite likeness of her suspended above it

 

guiding the directionless ship forward (?)

 

the expression on it’s face appearing

calm

unburdened

accepting

and content with very little

 

qualities possessed only

by the truly beautiful

 

but this likeness appears incomplete

the eyes are missing from its face*

 

 

*other sailors swear he’s insane

but the one man crew of this vessel

 

sees them clearly

permanently fixed in the horizon

 

the missing eyes

 

trimmed with blue irises

that won’t be forgotten

 

weather

 

the sun smiles

a squall twists the sky’s features

or the night stares blankly

 

they gaze

 

he tries to meet them

with green eyes full of scars

 

usually failing

 

still doing his best

to keep his back straight

 

standing at the helm

on an empty wooden deck

 

stained with unrequited love

and tears shed behind mirrored shades

 

he’s surrendered to forgetting

his original destination

 

sailing towards eyes

he knows will never be reached

 

unconcerned with trivial things

like facts and an overflowing hold

of smashed hour-glasses

 

while the needle of a compass spins wildly and

he spins the helm’s wheel with cracked hands

 

he’s unable to recall if she’s

a fantasy

a reality

or something in between

 

but

 

a half-smile never leaves

a rough-skinned face

around blood-shot spheres

 

knowing this fate was his choice

grateful knowing no matter how much

he yearns to

 

he can’t blame her*

 

 


the food at peaches (on 393 the corner of lewis ave and macdonough st) was rad after you booted me out – m4w – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

-racist-

*by someone who needs to get p.c.*

(frankie leone, just a man)

 *

*”you’ve never been an escort?”

the blade of her words glistens with flattering surprise. the question doesn’t offend me. it probably should.

i parry, “no. why would you ask?”

“it’s not unusual for lonely and good-looking guys with some charisma to brush with it. you’d make good money.”

i don’t respond right away. the compliment sharpens the double-edged steel of my ego. this dysfunction irks me.

i suppress a smile. with wooden pride i feign sarcasm, “thanks for telling me i’d be a successful hooker baby.”

her bed’s smaller than i’m used to. it forces us closer to intimacy.

the whetting stone of her words continues, “sorry casanova. sensitive after we come aren’t we?”*

*

*”sin city” pushes pins and needles of romantic carnage into the night that follows.

her friend joins us. amiable and full-figured with guarded sharpness. seemingly latina.

my thoughts wander to an e.r. doctor i know. he’d told me the majority of injuries he sees are kitchen related, self-inflicted, and involve knives.

a samurai sword wielding prostitute cuts street justice across the screen of the old tv. the butcher knife of my voice slips, “asians freak me out.”

“why,” her friend asks. i don’t notice their winces at my carelessness.

stealthily, my speech gashes me. “i don’t know. unfamiliar features. generally cold cultures.”

“i’m half nepalese,” the friend informs me.

i panic. thoughtless torrents of speech flow. “damn. well, you don’t speak with an accent. doesn’t count. plus the clerks at the st marks grocery are nepalese. you look nothing like them.”

the wound i’ve made needs stitches. cheap band aids’ve only exacerbated the problem.

her small bed’s a sexless e.r. waiting room until dawn.*

*

*i’m just a man.

i try to make her horny enough to get some in the morning. she starts giving in but kicks me sheathless before the point of no return. before getting up to take a piss i scratch a dishonest smile over my blued expression.

her bathroom lights have red bulbs.*

*

*scabs form over my sexual frustration by the time i got back. across the room on the small bed she scrapes them off.

she’s naked on all fours. her blunt voice rakes, “fuck me.”

i’m just a man.*

*

*”can i write a few hour before work?”

“i’d rather you didn’t. i need more sleep before i leave. we don’t know each other that well and i really like my things,” she replies.

this answer’s brutally efficient- a guillotine blade. before getting my shit together i scratch another dishonest smile onto a decapitated head.

my headless body walks to the g train.*

*


you put artificial sweetener in my coffee and memory at the rabbit hole (on 352 bedford ave between s 3rd st and s 4th st) – m4w – 26 – (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

 

 

-saccharin love-

*by someone

that’s never enjoyed coffee black*

(frankie leone, just a man)

 

 

*i took her in

with slow deep

 

breaths

 

inhaling her

through my nostrils

 

i could smell

desperation

sex

and hope

 

it thrilled then filled

me with fear

 

the anxious kind

then came the guilt

 

she was pale, thin, and

for all intensive purposes

 

beautiful

 

her eyes

 

they were innocently longing

later i’d learn this was incorrect

 

this girl had been robbed

of many things

 

including this innocence

i initially percieved

 

she’d played the game

for some time

 

but her soul was still white

and sweet like saccharin

 

when her vocal chords vibrated

truth would rarely escape her lips

 

but i’d listen and believe

 

because i wanted to

because i needed to

especially when she said

 

i love you

 

she’d call me baby

and i’d feel warm

 

it’s odd though

 

years later

i’d be with her pretending

to only want friendship

 

and i’d hear her call

other men baby

 

feeling rusty safety pins

with jammed fasteners

entering my heart

 

she’s lost now

 

and not only to me

 

to herself

 

but still i remember

the passion

the pain

the pleasure

the laughing

and the insanity

 

i loved her

 

and

she might’ve thought

she loved me

 

so as

i remember

 

i know ours is the beauty of a

once fantastic amusement park

 

gated shut

falling deeper into disrepair

 

and it will always be in my heart

 

sometimes as a rusty safety pin

sometimes as a crooked youthful smile.*

 

 

 


you were shocked by a trivial kindness and asked where i came from at the tea lounge (on 837 union st and 7th ave) – m4w – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

 

 

-superhero-

*by someone who busted out*

(frankie leone, just a man)

 

 

*lady luck took his ability

to separate fantasy from reality

 

he was an enormous man

capable of effective brutality

but devoid of the impulse

 

his heart 24 karat gold

and his skin burnt coffee

marked by many scars

 

he’d smile

revealing a mouth of false teeth

glowing with an ironic brotherly love

 

my space-heater

in times lost on tundra

 

he was my friend*

 

 

*i’d sit with him

hearing his stories

 

knowing they were figments

of his imagination

 

cigarettes were scarce

but i’d give what i could spare

 

light them

and listen

 

he gladly retold

the ever-changing stories

of the origins of his scars

 

maybe the one about

what was plainly a gun-shot wound

below his barrel of a rib cage

 

maybe the one about

the long slash running down his cheek

unmistakably made with an angry razor blade

 

i’d listen

i’d tell him he was my brother

 

he’d tell me about his adventures

with comic-book heroes

like the green lantern

 

i’d listen

i’d smile

 

he’d tell me his hands

were once made of metal

but he gave them to his cell-mate

 

a friend

 

years ago during a different bid

in r***** state penitentiary

 

to make that friend a superhero

so he could escape

 

i’d listen

i’d light up his cigarette

 

he’d light up his eyes*

 

 

*that place i found him

was dark on sunny days

 

but he was a flicker

 

i’ll be forever grateful

for his adventures

with the green-lantern

 

and the metal hands

he gave his cell-mate.*

 

 

 


i dug your show at lulu’s (on 113 franklin street between greenpoint ave and kent st) – m4w – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

 *

-bleach blonde freedom-

*by someone who understands

more than he’d like to*

(frankie leone, just a man)
*
*she moves like falling dominos. improperly spaced.  placed at thoughtless angles.

her hair’s bleach blonde flax. it was spun by a strung out rapunzel.

she’s losing her grip on youth. the tune she sings is a weary plea for its return.

grains of it remain in her palm. they’re moistened by blood trickling from small cuts. girlishly manicured fingernails are double-edged swords guarding sand of a time passed.

i lean on the railing of this damp balcony watching. it’s plain i’ll never speak to her. i won’t see her again either.

still, i watch while she moves with a desperate version of grace. i watch while her ballad carries a strained version of freedom to my ears.

i can’t see her eyes. i imagine an icy blue. eating-sized fish are frozen still inches below their surface.

my heart lowers.

i don’t get warmer. i don’t get colder. there’s no time for good-bye.

i turn my collar up to the night before facing it.*

 *


at hotel delmano (on 82 berry st and n 9th st) i heard your booty call – m4w – 26 – (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

 

 

-booty called-

*by someone that enjoys

a good ride of pride*

(frankie leone, just a man)

 

 

*a shallow assessment

of new jack lays is

 

there’s two types of lovers

 

fuckers and fucked*

 

 

*experience shows

the murkily disillusioned

 

there’s two types of lovers

 

involved and uninvolved*

 

 

*new york’s fucked me

deeply into anguish

and not returned my calls

 

and i’ve pulled her streets back

coming inside without apology

 

but

 

all five of her boroughs

making up a leathery attitude

towards grasping and gasping

 

make a clear distinction between us

 

washing down an after-morning pill

with a swallow of indifference

 

before casually resting lidless eyes*

 

 

*she’ll get horny again

 

and i’ll pay for a cab

to move faster than the l train allows

 

because

 

that’s what the hopefully hopeless do

 

run full speed

towards every sext

 

that reads

“fate.”*

 

 

 


you and your boyfriend picked me up at sway lounge (on 305 spring st between hudson and greenwhich), this went down – m4w – (williamsburg, borough of lost boys

 *

-gravenhurst, ontario-

(frankie leone, just a man)

 *

(I)

j***’s brooklyn love song

*to m******** and frankie*

(male)

-

“she doesn’t talk much – *to frankie*

-

“ok let’s get started – *to m******** and frankie*

-

“the lights need to go off

-

“you have a nice cock – *to frankie*

-

“can you deep throat him m********

-

“that tastes like maddy alright – *after kissing frankie*

-

“no. i’m enjoying this – *response to ‘aren’t you going to take of your clothes’ – (frankie)*

-

“keep your eyes closed m********

-

“you’re so beautiful m********

-

“say ‘fuck’ m********

-

“does that feel good m********

-

“like this – *response to ‘how do you fuck her’ – (frankie)*

-

“bite my hand every time it feels good m********

-

“say ‘fuck’ every time you go all the way down on his dick m********

-

“i wasn’t hard a lot of the time i just loved watching

-

“ok let’s get started – *starting second time*

-

“how’s his cock feel m********

-

“say ‘more’ every time he goes deep in you m********

-

“she likes it on her back – *to frankie*

-

“do you want your legs on his shoulders m********

-

“tell him to fuck you m********

-

“you’re doing good – *mouthed to frankie*

-

“say ‘fuck me’ m********, say it

-

“can i touch your cock – *to frankie*

-

“i’m not gay – *to m*********

-

“fine i do – *in response to ‘yes you do [want dick]‘ – (frankie)*

-

“don’t write about this, i’d look like a creepy scum bag watching someone fuck his girl – *to frankie*

-

“you look sad” – *to frankie*

*

(II)

m********’s brooklyn love song

*to j*** and frankie*

(female)

-

“i feel like i’ve known you for a long time – *to frankie*

-

“what did you guys talk about while i was in the bathroom

-

“i have a feeling a plan was made without me

-

“this isn’t organic

-

“i guess we actually have to pay rent

-

“well it isn’t organic but it is on my list of things to experience” – *response to ‘do you want this’ – (frankie)*

-

“in this environment i don’t mind it – *response to ‘do you like it when i touch you’ – (frankie)*

-

“yes *response to ‘do you like who i am’ – (frankie)*

-

“i’m not much of a talker – *response to ‘what would you like me to do’ – (frankie)*

-

“i like it when you talk j***

-

“what should we do j***

-

“fuck me – *response to ‘tell him to fuck you m********, say it’ – (j***)*

-

“it feels good

-

“more more more more…

-

“fuck fuck fuck fuck…

-

“that hurts

-

“slower softer

-

“a little – *response to ‘are you sore’ – (frankie)*

-

“it’s ok – *response to ‘i might not come’ – (frankie)*

-

“it’d make me feel better if you did – *as j***considered blowing frankie*

-

“will you write about this – *to frankie*

-

“you mean in farmhouses – *response to ‘in canada do you guys fuck a lot of tattooed brooklyn writers in loft buildings’ – (frankie)*

-

“this isn’t me but i’m glad i got to experience it”

-

“thanks much for letting us stay at your place frankie.

*

(III)

frankie’s brooklyn love song

*to j*** and m*********

(male)

-

“say something m********

-

“that’s because we’re the same person – *response to ‘i feel like i’ve known you a long time’ – (m********)*

-

“am i on – *response to ‘ok let’s get started’ – (j***)*

-

“you’re right, i’m covered in pesticides – *response to ‘this isn’t organic’ – (m********)*

-

“do you want this – *to m*********

-

“do you like it when i touch you – *to m*********

-

“do you like who i am – *to m*********

-

“it’s been a while since i’ve been spectated

-

“it’s cool if this is your thing, you’re not the only one with this kink – *to j****

-

“what would you like me to do – *to m*********

-

“what would you like us to do – *to j****

-

“thanks my parents gave it to me – *response to ‘you have a nice cock’  - (j***)*

-

“i’m having trouble staying hard, this is awkward

-

“she’s incredible, her mouth’s tight

-

“does this feel good – *to m*********

-

“taste her – *to j****

-

“look into my eyes – *to m*********

-

“you’re gorgeous – *to m*********

-

“would you like me to stop

-

“how do you fuck her – *to j****

-

“are you sore – *to m*********

-

“i might not come – *to m*********

-

“i don’t have any more condoms – *response to ‘can you go a third time’ – (j***)*

-

“people usually have to pay for this kind of show – *to j****

-

“we saved j*** money on a porn site subscription – *to m*********

-

“suck my dick, nothing in life’s free – *to j****.

-

“yes you do – *response to ‘i don’t want dick’ – (j***)*

-

“i’ve been writing about painful experiences lately – *response to ‘will you write about this’ – (m********)*

-

“we’re one big weird dysfunctional family

-

“in canada do you guys fuck a lot of tattooed brooklyn writers in loft buildings

-

“i’m not this ugly, sorry i didn’t show you something beautiful  - *to m******** – (j*** in bathroom)*

-

“i’m just reflecting.” – *response to ‘you look so sad’ – (j***)*

*


at project parlor (on 742 myrtle ave between sandford and nostrand) you read me my miranda rights – m4w – (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

 

 

-furnished freight elevator-

*by someone done trying

to figure out its controls*

*by frankie leone*

 

 

*this human being knows nothing

 

about physics

about science

 

about unfiltered reality

 

(i’m uncertain he did but)

newton said

 

“whatever goes up must come down”

 

grasping concepts

surrounding this statement

 

is trying to swing

a falling length of water

bare-handed

 

but it applies

without question

 

to my wandering

through the human experience*

 

 

*one day the sun shines

 

warming

my arms

my face

my heart

 

i touch skin

 

a friends hand

and covered shoulders

 

greeting him

sparking affection in my mind

 

my mother’s

cheek and forehead

kissing her

 

stoking bright coals

of humbling adoration

 

in my spirit

 

a girl’s exposed shoulder

running my finger down it

 

her smiling

 

a supernova of thrilling fear

exploding through my lanky frame

 

love

 

with no particular focus

can sweep through me

 

a perfect drug

coursing through unpunctured veins*

 

 

*there are days

 

the sky’s ashy

 

i sit wrapped in a blanket

cold

my legs

my chest

my heart

 

in an empty apartment

a world of warmer people

outside its doors but

 

i’m to stiff to

leave my palace-like prison*

 

 

*moments luminous life

exudes from my pores

 

tissue around my heart

snug

tingly

glowing

 

are fleeting

 

and so are ones

 

when my eyes look like

two inches of icy water

 

my insides

replaced by a length of rope

twisted

frayed

rough

 

“whatever goes up must come down”*

 

 

*most of the ascent to the top

of the spired cathedral

 

overlooking

the coney island of my truth

 

and most of the fall to the corner

of the dark holding cell

 

in the precinct in the mind

of this human being

 

are the moments i live for.*

 

 


i clock watched at five leaves ny (on 18 bedford ave and lorimer street) during my private writing lecture from a non-writer. bad first date. – m4w – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

-critic-

*by someone who hears but rarely listens*

(frankie leone, just a man)

 *

*she stands in front of the table.

the man’s long arm flexes as he writes. a cheap pen moves across the paper. the little girl watches with intense disappointment.

no quill or stylus. the much-anticipated typewriter is absent. sleek cursive isn’t written onto papyrus or into a leather-bound notebook. only ripped newsprint holds his words.

the child’s displeasure honestly dominates her expression. the man’s unaffected. with tired grace he keeps writing.

she asks, “what do you write about?”

“things i want to forget,” he says pen moving. his voice is nearly a whisper.

her face scrunches in confusion.

“why?” she pursues reflexively.

“so other people can remember them,” he answers.

the young girl senses she’s reached a dead end. she takes her questioning in a different direction. “why do you want to forget them?”

“they’ve forgotten me.”

she takes a moment to digest this. he picks up a loose cigarette and lights it with a fluid movement.

he inhales. he exhales. he resumes his work.

unsatisfied, she speaks again, “why do you care about people who don’t care about you?”

a column of smoke passes his lips. it pan cakes over the paper. in seconds it disperses around his thin body. “i can’t remember.”

she crinkles her nose. her questions are innocent. like the colorful print of her dress. she asks another.

“who wants to read about forgetful people?”

his words fall onto the page. his patience stands tall. “people who’ve been forgotten.”

a short moment passes while she processes this. she volleys back, “mister, are you crazy?”

he stops writing. smiling, he puts out his cigarette and folds tattooed arms. an understanding gaze meets the girl’s.

“depends who you ask,” he pauses before resuming, “you could write things i’d like to forget too if you ask me.”

giggling she responds, “i don’t know anyone who’s forgotten you. what would i write?”

his pen goes back to work. he answers, “reviews.”*

*


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