Category Archives: poetry

you expressed i was crazy via phone call from your shithole in the lower east side (on 13th street and 2nd avenue). – 28 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

-unstable-

*by someone who’s accepted it*

(frankie leone, just a man)

*

*no one see the world

with the same conviction 

as the mad man

-

figments of his imagination

hurricaning his view of the world

-

emotions rocketing through him

with the intensity of a dangerous narcotic

-

envisioning

a revolution of thought

epic love

and a different future

that may or may not be coming

-

but belief is reality

-

and men like him

have unwavering faith*

*

*the madman walks

the streets of our city

-

a city with shiny skin

bittersweet fruit

and the potential 

to put someone to sleep forever

-

he feels

thinks

sees

smokes

fucks

screams

laughs

cries

loves

hates

and believes

-

like no other*

*

*his hope is only 

to see something different

-

a choice that isn’t his

-

because as he sees our city

through a gritty kaleidoscope 

-

images of saints

sinners

good

bad

and ugly

-

ghost dance through his psyche

to a torturous melody

-

but it’s fucking beautiful

-

and even though

he may yearn to give it away

-

it’s his

and no one can take it from him*

*

*when he speaks

his words may make a good listen

-

in madness

there is chaos

-

and all things worth witnessing

emerge from this condition

-

so it may not be unwise

to pay heed to the madman

-

just in case he’s right

because

after all

-

what do you believe in?*

*

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you were the radical feminist who gave me the first blow job that ever made me come (on 247 starr street and wyckoff). – 27 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

-chloe-

*by someone finding freedom

one humbling experience at a time*

(frankie leone, just a man)

*

 

*a dollar store fan

missing a blade

-

blows onto my skin

coated in a thin layer of sweat

-

clothed only in powder blue boxer shorts

covered with a print of cowboys and indians

-

and an unfiltered camel burns in these long digits

decorated with cut scars and tattoos

-

before being put out into an old coffee mug

resting on a small table

adorned with black and bronze mosaic tiles

-

while i remember*

 

*

 

*she lives uptown

and loved her bicycle

-

saying it gave her freedom from our city’s

subterranean network of grinding metal

and tired faces

-

freedom from its control of her time

and stolen moments from the streets*

 

*

 

*someone likely pursuing

powder and liquid relief from reality

-

relieved her of it

with a pair of bolt cutters

and a relaxed conscience

-

she’s petit

so her bicycle was pint-sized

-

pink

-

and like a child’s

had streamers coming from the handlebars*

 

*

 

*she’s taken the subway to see me in brooklyn

and we walk along an empty north 8th street

as the sun drops

-

towards my idea of a romantic evening

on the water at east river state park

-

the sky breathes an easy summer breeze on us

-

and she tells me more about grieving chloe,

the name she’d given the pink bicycle

-

moments before we see it

chained to the gate of a building

near the corner of berry street*

 

*

 

*”whoever lives here stole my bike”

-

she says in wide-eyed shock

in a normal speaking tone

-

“lucky you”

-

i respond

drawing a trouble-filled smile

-

her expression shuffles into irritation

-

“how do you figure that”

-

“i know a decent booster

let me call him

-

if he’s free

chloe will be yours again

in a half hour

-

if he isn’t

you’ll have your freedom from the m.t.a.

back by midnight

-

because i have a decent hack saw

four blocks away

in my roomie’s toolbox”

-

her irritation morphs to surprise

-

“that’s illegal

you could get in trouble”

-

i don’t respond

and watch her face go contemplative

-

she continues

“i guess this is this person’s karma though”

-

“probably not”

-

i answer

-

“what do you mean”

-

“it’s the booster’s and the fence’s karma

this person was just dumb enough to buy a stolen bike

-

rich girls in williamsburg

with apartments on the north side

-

aren’t cutting bicycle locks uptown

to pay rent”

-

surprise shifts to sadness

-

“don’t call your friend

don’t come back here later

and don’t ever mention this again”

-

“what”

-

i respond

-

“i’m not going to inflict

the pain i felt losing chloe

on someone else”

-

“bullshit

you’re getting your bike back”

-

now she’s angry

-

“no i’m not

you’re not doing shit

and i don’t want to hear about this again”

-

my ego absorbs the blows

and i keep my mouth shut

-

before we walk

the last two blocks to the park

in awkward silence.*

 

*

 

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on the bedford l stop subway stairs (on the corner of north 7th st and bedford ave) you asked me a question i couldn’t answer at the time. – 27 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

-sadness-

*by someone resolved

to climb out of this pothole*

(frankie leone, just a man)

*

*a pretty girl

with short hair

petit stature

and bright blue eyes

-

asked me once on the stairwell

of the subway ramp

on north 7th street and bedford avenue

-

why i was always sad

-

she didn’t know me from a hole in the wall

but had read my work

-

with a compassionate brushstroke

in her manner

she looked at me smiling

-

as someone would gaze

at a sick child

-

i didn’t have an answer

asked her if she wanted to hang out sometime

and heard her reply

-

“i’m sure we’ll see each other around”*

*

*i think about this

-

my sadness

-

and realize

the reason for it

-

fear

-

when one has known nothing else

even if it is a terrible state of being

-

this unknown is terrifying

-

terrifying enough to endure misery

-

and i see i have a choice

and have made it for myself

for a period of time disgusting to me*

*

*i think of this girl

-

bravely smiling at a man twice her size

bearing the marks of someone who’s been places he shouldn’t have

-

and consider myself a coward

-

if she can do this

why can’t i

-

i ask myself

-

and then i see fear

my devil

-

and decide to pull my pistol

for my last duel with a power 

not greater than myself.*

*

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you were kind enough to give me water and let me use the bathroom when i was freaking out on acid at berry park (on 4 berry st and nassau ave) 27 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

-identity crisis-

*by someone who walks by himself for a reason*

(frankie leone, just a man)

*

*like a maladjusted teenager

orbiting reality, exploded on angel dust

i’ve tried to pulverize the image

of who i might be

-

or like a thorough crook

strung out on the acquisition of wealth

-

hide the origins of who i am

-

laundering my identity

through a series of intermediaries

-

but after a lifetime of fighting and hiding

i’ve grown weary

-

and can no longer afford the luxury of fear

-

i’ve come to face the mirror of who i’ve been

in hopes of finding brutal clarity

on who i am

-

there will be no flinching

as i stare at the past

to find my present

-

i stand here

by myself

armed with exhaustion and desperation

-

to catalogue some of the stops

on my subway ride

through this human’s experience*

*

*the kid on the street

-

with nothing to lose

convinced there’s nothing to gain

-

you don’t know what’s hidden in my pockets

that may or may not motivate you

to stop running your mouth

-

or why i’m so dedicated

to stop you from vocalizing your opinions

-

but you do know i’ll try to use it

because that’s what i do*

*

*the punk rocker

-

swearing allegiance to an army

that guarantees i won’t be negotiated for

after legions of bottles, glue tubes, and syringes

-

overtake

-

aligning with this religion

that will never identify itself as one

-

in beds, bathrooms, and train cars

making despondent love

-

to its hazy mistresses wearing corresponding uniforms

of torn fish-nets and black eyeliner

-

and walking to the beat of sloppy drums

and inconsistent power chords

under a black flag

-

reeking of body odor*

*

*the tough guy

-

banging to the sound of years combusting

respecting alleyways and avenues

that aren’t familiar with this concept

-

loyal to a crew of ever shifting faces

raising arms ending with clenched fists

covering in r.i.p. tattoos

-

you know

when things go too far south between us

for either of us to fly home for the spring

-

i’ll be there on time

with minions wearing skin functioning as masks

-

and it won’t be to talk*

*

*the fuck star

-

twisting my face

into disingenuous expressions of ecstasy

-

giving the camera my most personal moments

like a lukewarm handshake

because i’ve been blessed

-

with these flexible morals

and big cock

-

numbing reservations with complimentary

powders and liquids

-

to soldier through the next filming

-

under the impression

i’m providing a valuable service

and the one really in control*

*

*the junky mercenary

-

following whoever’s money

to the next fix

-

as my liver dies

and the crooks of my arms

bruise and abscess

-

rallying behind the next opportunity

to fight, fuck, or steal

-

not because there’s pleasure in it anymore

but because there hasn’t been another option

for quite some time

-

i can’t remember

what i’m trying to forget at this point but

-

hitting the snooze button on my emotions

has taken priority over the possibility

for real friends

a loving family

and the hope to live to my next birthday*

*

*the imprisoned criminal in the free world

-

who won’t give up bondage

watching people who have a liberty

i believe i’ve taken from myself permanently

-

unaware the keys to my cuffs

lay in my lap*

*

*a man who’s seen more than i should’ve

-

because i’ve seen too little

of things in front of my eyes all along

-

a lost boy who sees into a tarry darkness

filled with funhouse mirrors*

*

*the poet

-

walking the street in my own shadows

unable to move passed things that need to be

but recording them so others will

-

in hopes of proving i’m not a monster

to the city around me

-

but more importantly, myself*

*

*the enlightened madman

-

who stands behind convictions

i won’t surrender

-

even after laying my own world to waste*

*

*the life force of the rager

-

making the superficially beautiful smile

professionally

-

pouring drink after drink after drink

to people who surrender some autonomy

-

to me, a man they don’t know

but don’t feel threatened by

-

because others don’t

i have a decent dance move or two

and am not a bad kisser*

*

*i have been these things

among many others

-

maybe still am

-

but after poring over these reflections

they haven’t ceased to exist

just ceased to frighten

-

because while i don’t desire to turn my back

to the days ahead

to watch yesterday try to run up on me

-

i no longer feel compelled to lock my head forward

to avoid the vision

-

giving up this tug-of-war

makes things easier on my neck in the moment

-

and makes walking into tomorrow less difficult.*

*

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you took me as your plus one to an upscale event at the guggenheim museum (at 1071 5th avenue and 88th street) – 27 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

-the world is yours-

*by someone who doesn’t need to take

what’s already his*

(frankie leone, just a man)

*

*the radio’s off

and old tires spin

-

with worn ease and comfort

as her and i glide east

on the brooklyn queens expressway

-

in a weathered mini-van

she’s shuttled me around in

since my childhood

-

a clear night sharpens my affection for her

and the city glistening across the east river

i’m watching through the passenger window

-

i look at her

-

while she massages the road with

her careful green eyes

-

and turn my own back to the skyline

i breathe slow and deep

before whispering

-

“it’s mine”

she doesn’t respond right away

or turn her gaze

from the lanes of the bqe

-

the wrinkled skin

on her still pretty face

shifts to grace me with a smile

-

before answering

-

“i know

that’s how everyone

who loves it should feel”

 -

i think about this for a moment

and maintain our silence

 -

moving my left hand

over her right

 -

gripping the scratched steering wheel.*

*

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in the summer you can’t stand the smell of the streets around dark room (on 165 ludlow street and stanton) – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

-scents-

*by someone who stopped smoking

and doesn’t always enjoy a sense of smell*

(frankie leone, just a man)

*

*love doesn’t smell like

lubricated condoms opened by a stranger

-

or more credit card debt in soho

-

or a long run from yourself at the y

-

or well whiskey on a black, black(ed out) night

-

or awkwardness getting caught staring on the train

-

or the bodega guy knowing your favorite ben and jerry’s flavor

-

or forgetting there’s something else working dawn ’til dusk

-

or desperation to see someone else in that reflection*

*

*love smells like breathing deeply

alone, noiseless, ok

-

love smells like spooning with that reflection

eyes closed.*

*

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*


you laughed and said, “you may be a wolf but at least you’re up front about it,” at the electric room (on 355 west 16th street and 9th ave). – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

-restless night-

*by someone crying out to the same moon as you*

(frankie leone, just a man)

*

*momma and i are morning people

-

but the malady of night

permeates my bones

and seduces my spirit

-

heaven probably isn’t in the cards

for a man like me

-

so after midnight you’ll see me

dancing with my devils*

*

*a full moon floods gasoline

through my veins

-

while your hungry eyes

fill a syringe with fire

-

those words floating

passed that confident smile

sound put off by my intentions

-

but i suspect otherwise

-

feeling your stare

press fantasy tipped rounds

into the magazine of my mind*

*

*the streets of our city

are owned by sheep

-

but run by wolves

-

so when their flocks slumber

under synthetic blankets of security

-

let’s take our turn

with these avenues and alleyways

-

and howl towards a nightmare

or dream.*

*

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*


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