Monthly Archives: October 2011

you ran away to find your drunken friend while i hit on you outside the kenmare (on 98 kenmare and centre st) – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

-le bain-

*by someone who doesn’t want to be here

when he’s thirty*

(frankie leone, just a man)

*

*the door’s locked and my hands nestle around her throat.

i’m not strangling her in a bathroom stall on the standard hotel’s 18th floor- just feeling vibrant life run through her. she kisses me with fervor. her hands course from my neck down and across my chest, eventually trickling down to grasp my belt buckle.

“you’re so hot,” she exclaims with frustrated intonation, “but no matter what you say i won’t go home with you.”

she might be drunk, but i can’t tell. not enough guilt’s involved to not proceed. i raise an eyebrow and half smile.

“no matter what i say?”

i grip her hips and pull them close to mine

“uhhhgh,” she says before closing her lids. biting her bottom lip she raises them and blasts a stare straight into mine with volcanic blue eyes. “everyone’s just a booty call to you.”

“why would you say something mean like that? i’m being nice to you,” i say moving her hands behind me onto my back pockets.

i tug the back of her dyed red mohawk towards her ass. her head levers back so i can kiss just below her jaw. she moves her hands to grip the outside of my fly and offers, “i could blow you in here.”

“don’t you deserve a little better than this,” i ask and point to the room length window next to us, “we may have a night view of the skyline through this glass but a toilet’s still a foot away.”

“i’ve hooked up in here a lot and probably will lots more,” she says in justification.

this makes my decision.

“i don’t hook up with people i like in bathrooms,” i state and take her hand off my dick.

she pushes away from me entirely and laughs, “what a gentlemen.”

sliding hands down her face she groans, “i’m such a mess.”

“i know,” i answer her unasked question.

she’s stern.

“aren’t you?”

“yes. that’s why i’m in here. but i think it might be better if we both leave now.”

“i’m tired of being a mess,” she confesses.

“so am i,” i agree.

we don’t kiss good bye. she unlocks the door and we head back to throbbing bass and artificial lights together.

but separately.*

*

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you said i’d “make a piss poor fag” after we left the dream hotel (on west 16th street between 8th and 9th ave) – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

-fag-

*by someone who needs to get up on current events*

(frankie leone, just a man)

*

*we walk out from the same party at the dream hotel to turn up our jacket collars to a cool night.

the air’s dark. it smells like it’s time to go home. he asks, “i’m in brooklyn too, greenpoint. aren’t you in williamsburg? how about we split a cab sweetie?”

it’s my experience there’s two types of gay guys- sweet and caring or mean and bitchy. he’s a fun hybrid of both. i’ll probably laugh on the way back to my borough, and lonely cab rides aren’t a financial option.

i agree.

“mind if i smoke before we hail one?”

“no, go ahead. might be a little hard to get a match lit out here though,” i warn as he fishes out a pack of matches. a drizzle has ebbed to mist on west 16th street.

the damp wind takes three matches. he gives up and walks towards two chubby thirty-something men and a six foot woman with eerily emaciated legs- probably a model they recruited. even with her they can’t get in. she looks bored and angry standing outside the club’s ropes with them.

“‘scuse me boys. could i use your lighter?”

they smirk to each other, pull on their cigarettes, and don’t acknowledge his request.

“okay,” he answers their non-response. he stretches the “ay” sound.

he walks back and i ask, “know those guys?”

his voice sounds wounded.

“don’t think so. do i look like the kind of guy that would steal someone’s lighter? why do people act like that?”

i know why. when i look at him i brawl my envy. his skin’s bleached paper, his bone structure shouts feminine beauty, and his eyes are so dark you can’t tell if he’s making eye contact. these men don’t walk passed thirty person lines outside clubs without a word. he does.

they know it and feel safe punishing him for it- he’s a queer.

it’s fortunate his naïveté shields his eyes from their ugliness. my vision rarely spares me clarity during these sights. this one feels like a floating eyelash soaked in bacardi 151.

their feeling of security is incorrect. i approach the taller of the two men and position my body inappropriately close to his. he’s wearing too much cologne.

i ask, “you’re really not going to give my friend a light?”

“what are you? some kind of gangster?”

as he slurs his words together there’s no eye contact happening. his friend laughs with him. i’ve given him a fair enough chance to correct his behavior. while i seize the hand of the wrist holding his cigarette he looks me in the eyes. there’s a sludgy stupidity behind his gaze.

tearing the cigarette out of his hand isn’t difficult. i tap the tag heur watch he’s wearing before letting go.

“nice watch you fat fuck,” i comment. 

the woman turns away in aggravation. with her back to us she chimes in with an eastern european accent, “if you fight this man i leave now.”

nobody else speaks. my friend uses the cigarette as a lighter.

“fucking thuggish babboon. who do you think you are,” he stammers while we walk away. i look back.

he reverts to not meeting my stare. enough of a point’s being made by that. more lessons in manners are unnecessary. i stare from fifteen feet away until the cigarette’s finished.

it’s a decent kick off for a ride back to brooklyn.*

*

*in the cab i receive lectures on the recent death of amy winehouse, the current tragedy of kate moss, and the pros of fixed lighting over track. i don’t have much to contribute. his world is dynamited by my ignorance.

“what country do you live in?”

“i don’t own a tv,” i respond.

“whatever thoreau. you’d make a piss poor fag,” he remarks with disdain and pauses.

changing his tone he finishes, “thanks for the display of testosterone. didn’t know you were such a tough guy.”

i respond, “don’t mention it, and i’m not. i just never underestimate the cowardice of others. thanks for helping me improve my credentials as a u.s. citizen and i’m sorry for your losses of kate and amy. “

“kate’s still alive, amy’s dead, and you’re hopeless.”

i smile while the cab stops and step out onto the corner of n5th street and kent avenue. i see his eyes roll through the window as the yellow car pulls towards greenpoint.*

*

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you took a drag and refused to give back my cigarette at abc no rio (on 156 rivington st and avenue b) – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

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-marlboro grey-

*by someone who hopes the smoke never clears*

(frankie leone, just a man)

*

*her eyes are filled with glittery smoke

-

when her stare meets mine

she’s the first cigarette of the day

-

a dizzy vertigo overcoming me

-

her pair of mesmerizing smoke screens

defies the laws of physics

-

despite the thick grey shimmering in her irises

the light in her shines unobstructed

-

far brighter than the street lights

drowning rivington street

-

the warm summer evening

she first draws herself into my teenage lungs*

*

*she’s

short

delicate

and wears the face of a contemporary angel

-

ironically, they usually do

-

but she frightens me beyond comprehension

her spirit rippling with lean muscle

-

towering over mine

and eventually beating me into submission

-

but this night

youth and passion

-

strap me into the most thrilling

ride in our abandoned amusement park

-

and the ride begins*

*

*we can’t see the other side

of this haze-filled room

-

her and i

-

blind to each other

blind to ourselves

-

but even after years pass

as they always will

-

even after the pack comes out of my sleeve

and the zippo leaves my pocket

-

i’ll always jones for one last drag

of the glittery smoke in her eyes.*

*

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you shouted my friend and i were cute as we left avenue (on 116 10th ave and 17th st) at 3am – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

-”broken hands”-

*by someone trying to piece it all together*

(frankie leone, just a man)

*

*sometimes i drag myself through days, my fingernails sunken into a chalkboard. others i march mechanically, eyes locked forward until i close them in sleep. now i’m not doing either.

the sun has resigned and i float through my mind listening to the buildings of manhattan whisper to me- their nothings are especially sweet on the roof of the standard hotel. i sweep my gaze over crowds of people watching everyone watch everyone. a fall breeze massages my skin.

light brown hair falls around his long face. he pushes it back. looking at me with a smirk he remarks, “we’re just kings being king dude.”

“my thoughts exactly,” i laugh and we breathe in the city silently.

his eyes are red. whiskey hasn’t been easy on him the passed few days. still, a raw energy breaks from his eyes through his pain. a bandaged hand brings a rocks glass to his lips. the dressing on it’s fresh but blood still seeps through. the opposite hand has a ceramic cast over it.

he tells me, “a song found me the other day dude. it was magic.”

i reply, “oh yeah?”

“yeah man, it was so sick. after all the shit that’s gone down the universe finally sent me something.”

i don’t understand but sometimes this guy’s tough to understand. while i wait for an explanation i take in his features. he’s one of the tallest (and thinnest) people i know. his hair flows passed his shoulders and his arms are blanketed in black tattoos representing occult culture.

he’s weird so (of course) i feel deep affection for him.

the explanation isn’t coming. i shift our topic, “you never told me what happened to your hands.”

“dude, no way. don’t want to talk about it.”

“you can’t show up with two busted hands and not tell your boy what’s up.”

lifting the bandaged hand he says, “bartending dude. sliced the shit open on a broken glass. piece of shit manager wouldn’t even pay for the e.r. guess my bad luck hasn’t run out yet.”

“what about the other one? the one in the cast.”

angles of his face pronounce themselves more as its muscles constrict in anger. after prying apart clenched teeth he whispers, “her. she took my hand along with everything else. i can’t even play guitar anymore.”

“what? that’s fucking heinous. she broke your hand? how’d she do that?”

he answers gripping the center of his chest, “she stabbed a rusty ice pick right here dude.”

his eyes have gone over the edge of the roof deck. he’s looking west over the hudson river. at new jersey.

“oh,” i reply keeping my voice calm, “that fist found the other guys’ face a few dozen times?”

“no dude. she was the only face in that equation for me. this fist found a cinder block wall a few dozen times instead of hers.”

the gaze he’s shooting across state lines should burn newark to the ground. his apocalyptic stare rampages east towards the loisada projects.

he continues, “when i think of her i can feel all the pain and hate in this city. every white collar dip shit who just lost his job. every hood mom who can’t make rent. every junky in every shooting gallery. i feel it all at once and want to scream it.

“but she took my hand so i can’t even blast it through my guitar.”

i don’t know what to say so i say nothing.

eventually i decide to snap our conversation back to his magical song. “what song found you playboy?”

he smiles and thinks for a second, then sings softly, “it only fell apart ’cause you let it, all the blood you had to lose, pick up the pieces with your broken hands, it only fell apart ’cause you let it, all the blood you had to lose, pick up the pieces with your broken hands.”

the left side of my lips glide back as i half smile.

“who’s that? sounds pretty fucking metal.”

“damn fuckin’ right dude. lamb of god. gets me fuckin’ rad every time. metal is salvation dude. it’s magic.”

he’s beaming.

happiness breaks through me. i smile with both sides of my mouth. i don’t know what to say.

i answer, “we’re just kings being kings dude.”*

*

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you enjoyed when i picked up my last paycheck from friday’s (at 2 penn plaza) – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

-assistant manager-

*by someone who feels disdain for chain restaurants*

(frankie leone, just a man)

*

*her spirit’s mangled from lashes received

during a life-time of running up gambling debts

playing a losing hand life’s dealt her

-

unforgiving creditors that are

the world and daily life

-

rarely spare her the whip*

*

*her contempt for me is clear

-

as she pitches barbed comments

wrapped in veils of faux appropriateness

in my direction

-

i don’t return the malice

despite the sting

-

and look into the windows to her soul

eyes i won’t remember the color of

-

one looking into mine

the other over my shoulder

her mouth barking more abrupt sentences

-

and i remain calm

-

watching a meager pile of chips

shrink a little more

in those crossed eyes

-

smiling to ask questions

about statuses of numerous crises

she’s overly vocal about*

*

*warmth seldom escapes

this squat tank of misery

-

but on occasion

she thaws and moments of sweetness

-

half raw sugar cane

half splenda

transpire between us*

*

*for reasons i don’t understand

-

it’s at these junctures

i feel twinges of hope for myself

and those i love seeming without it

-

and because of this

she’ll always remain

a cherub in her mid-twenties

-

fond of bragging about her absent gag-reflex

-

in my mind.* 

*

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