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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you confessed a teenage me was your hero at manitobas (on 99 avenue b between east 6th and 7th st) – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

-idol worship-

*by someone who won’t follow

ever again*

(frankie leone, just a man)

*

*my middle school teacher asks us

to write about our heroes

-

so i put down my pen

and put my mind on the rack*

*

*bumpy johnson

-

ebony thug in an ivory city

turning an insolent eye

into those who tell him his limits

-

understanding if you want something

in this bitter sweet apple

you have to take it

-

no one calls him a nigger to his face

because of this

-

plus they’d like to keep their block

everything they have

and everything they ever will*

*

*doc holliday

-

friendless and softspoken gentleman

-

with a well-tailored coat

and mind full of ideas not fitting

as well in his time and place

-

an expert at games of chance

-

whether they involve

hands full of cards

-

or fists full of pistols

-

walking alone

only because he doesn’t know another way*

*

*sid vicious

-

pretty boy punk rocker

reserved sober

wild animal with intoxicants in him

-

extinguishing

only after achieving immortality

behind his sneer and syringe*

*

*i jot “bill clinton” and turn in the paper

-

it returns marked with a “d+”

under it she’s written

“lacks effort and creative thought.”*

*

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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)

*

-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 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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you grabbed my hand and led me out of cielo (on 18 little west 12th st and 9th ave) whispering, “our reality will feel better than this fantasy.” – 26 (williamsburg borough of lost boys)

*

-night club-

*by someone who took a while

to get it*

(frankie leone, just a man)

*

*the gate keeper’s an old man

meticulously groomed

-

who’s seen too much

and knows he’ll see more

-

while pulling on a dunhill cigarette

he governs sentinels

who’ve surrendered autonomy

for the dollar sign

-

waving in the lost souls valuable

to a kingdom without values

-

as they anxiously wait in long lines

-

hoping to drink and dance away troubles

that’ll be there when the record stops

-

or they sober up*

*

*behind angular features

of a breath-taking face

-

an underestimated mind

knows why she’s employed

-

making more than a waiter earns in an entire shift

to walk one bottle of liquid currency on long legs

-

to someone with too much money

the right delusions

and just enough desperation*

*

*he herds the beautiful into plush booths

-

collecting taxes from

the blessing and curse

of their aesthetic

-

smiling into eyes with faux rolex teeth

kissing hands with imitation leather lips

and embracing shoulders with 10 karat warmth

-

this mad king of the blind governs

-

subjects who speak to him

as though he were a servant

-

pouring them drink after drink

-

and surveying his domain

through an ornate mask*

*

*hidden in a tiny world

inside a tiny world

he rotates grooved wax on spinning tables

-

controlling

the temperature of sound waves

coursing through the air

-

coming in and out of consciousness

that if it’s his will

varvatos-clothed lemmings will halt

-

or move faster towards the edge*

*

*their hips sway across the dance floor and

the beat overwhelms awkward conversations

-

these wealthy and hood rich

famous and notorious

hard and fast

soft and slow

-

chase the same illegible promise

on a hollow pursuit

-

to a light switch

or fractured end.*

*

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you warned me, “remember all this doesn’t suspend our humanity, ok?,” on the roof deck at le bain (at 848 washington st and west 14th) – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

-one eye open-

*by someone followed only by the blind*

(frankie leone, just a man)

*

*i’m desperate to believe i’m the hustler

so end up being the last one to see 

-

i’m the hustled*

*

*the booty call’s an odd thing

-

arrogance blinds me

into thinking i’m taking a piece of them

-

with each toe-curling orgasm

-

so it’s a harsh surprise

searching the top of my dresser

-

months later

-

to find money they’ve planted

and my dignity missing*

*

*i’ve chased the myth of normalcy

through mundane beginnings

to cringe-worthy ends

-

but the most liberating thing i’ve seen

is the only people i know who aren’t fucked up

-

are ones i don’t know well*

*

*i’m not complicated as i’d like to believe

-

neither are you

or people you love and hate

-

our experience all vines

from the same simple template

-

the only variation is in details

-

i, and you, will only become fascinating

-

after realizing how similar we are

-

to each other

and everyone we know.*

*

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you gave my scrupals a light at le souk harem (on 510 la guardia place between houston and broadway) – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

-arson-

*by someone who’s restrung his fiddle*

(frankie leone, just a man)

*

*her legs are long enough

to scorch pure intentions

-

in my favorite ways

-

they’re covered in nylon cobwebs

ripped in the right places

-

screaming sirens

through my thoughts

-

while i stare

at the slim tinder of her body

-

and pull up the fire escape*

*

*bleach blonde ringlets

caution from her head

-

while the beauty of an angular face

fuels charcoal-lined eyes

-

that offer my brand of crazy

and spark it for me*

*

*i grab her

-

but even if we wanted to run

down this block of condemned buildings

from collapsing reflections

-

i wouldn’t take either of us to safety

-

so i simply help

toss flaming moments

into stacks of newspapers

-

surrounding tonight’s events

-

my fingers curling around her throat

to preface a police bulletin

written in sex

-

while we kiss with desperation

branded through sizzling bodies

with excited breath*

*

*she doesn’t care what we engulf

because she’s tired of living in ashes

-

of extinguished yesterdays

-

participating in our inferno with gusto

grasping and gasping with enthusiasm

-

as we dance to melodies of dying smoke alarms*

*

*we incinerate each other

rapidly

brutally

ruthlessly

-

cooking away

prisons of thought

in mere minutes

-

our entire city burning violently*

*

*it’s in these writhing coals

of this bitter-sweet apple

curtained in flame

-

that we give each other peace.*

*

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you got uncomfortable when i carved my name on the wall at john’s pizzeria (at 278 bleecker street between 6th and 7th ave) – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

-it ends in a vowel-

*by someone whose name’s on his birth certificate,

not created for the stage, pen, or reinvention of self*

(frankie leone, just a man)

*

*”you know, you’re not really white”

 -

“what’s up you fucking tomato”

-

“what’s with your middle name, you must be a half-breed”

-

“hey it’s frankie “the don” leone”

-

“i’m taiwanese, i can’t cook pasta like that you guinea”

 -

“i can’t do that, i’m not a greasy gangster like you “

-

“she’s got hair on her face, like every italian woman”

 -

“here he comes, repping the mafia punk rockers”

-

“you’ve got a rugged, handsome, southern-italian, and peasant-like face”

 -

“get out of here you dego-wop bastard”

-

“leone, like the godfather”

 -

“do you know what bah fongul means”

 -

“teach me how to say forget-about-it like they do in donnie brasco “

 -

“nice name, you seen casino”

 -

“is your dad in the mafia”

-

“do you have hair on your back”*

*

*hair shaving

pasta eating

throat slicing

neanderthal speaking

money stealing

and with racially impure features

 -

but still (arguably) white christians

-

so it’s ok to make comments

if you think we’re tight

 -

no worries

i’ll embrace the stereotype

it’s a good gimmick

-

but I’ll get irritated

when it backfires

 -

so let’s sit down

and pour canned classico

over cheap c-town brand pasta

 -

then you can say

a real hairy chested italian

 -

from a neighborhood

where wife-beaters and jogging suits

are hipper than skinny jeans and fedoras

 -

made you dinner

and the pasta was al-dente.*

*

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at the sugar shack on far rockaway beach (at 2 roxbury ave) i saw your stare through those shades – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

-impure thought-

*by someone who’s a sucker

for good poison*

(frankie leone, just a man)

*

*they’re candy flavored,

my cyanide fantasies

-

without cellulite

giving off aromas of wet latex

feeling tighter than virgins

-

they cut me like hand cuffs

and years circling a public bathroom bowl

-

they’ll walk with jaded grace

but kiss with naive energy

-

their body odor exciting me

while my feigned disinterest

-

sizzles my soul

-

so when our world blinks

long enough

-

we might do what we have to

-

to dance with these devils

off the private beach

of my consciousness.*

*

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*


rolling your eyes you remarked, “the love you’re professing has way more to do with you than me,” at cafA moto (on 394 broadway between hooper and keap) – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

-romantic-

*by someone who has issues

setting realistic goals*

(frankie leone)

 *

*she’ll never want me

 -

never has

never will

 -

which is why i want her

 -

but never have

and never will.*

*

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*


at the bronx zoo (on 2300 southern boulevard) you commented, “i’d maul the first mother fucker i could if someone put me in a cage.” – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

-lion-

*by someone hoping to escape the new cage he’s built*

(frankie leone, just a man)

*

*a man with a few scars

and a few regrets

-

remembers

-

visiting the zoo as a child

 -

seeing crowds of people

staring at exotic animals

through fences and glass

 -

being overjoyed at the spectacle

 -

fleetingly fascinated

but soon saddened

 -

seeing the lion alone

in his cage*

*

*he recalls a time

years after he visited the zoo

-

when he was in such a cage

eventually finding himself alone

-

the cage had walls of hopelessness

and a shatter-proof glass partition

tempered strong with resignation

 -

separating him

 -

from disgusted viewers

briskly stepping past

 -

stale smoke hung

in the air

 -

his water bowl and food dish

filled with ninety-two proof sailor jerry rum

and white  or brown powder*

*

*during recollections

 -

he remembers

not-so-much the agony

and not-so-much the loneliness

 -

but a small oasis of brotherly love

 -

found in an enormous desert

of grotesque suffering* 

*

*for a time he shared his cage

with a young man his age

 -

who stumbled on it the way he did

 -

accidentally

 -

searching for a solution to life

finding only confinement

in every respect

 -

he remembers their wanderings

side-by-side and blind-folded

 -

in the small cage

-

having only each other

and temporary interests

of puzzled viewers*

*he remembers

nights listening to songs

 -

written by deceased

residents of other cages

 -

speaking of women they’d had

when they’d walked free

 -

and great works they’d begun to read

but never finished

 -

they’d look at each other

 -

through

tired

red

eyes

 -

knowing they were prisoners

but never speaking of it

 -

feeling desperate fraternal love

 -

only two men

near the bottom of an abyss

together and alone

 -

understand*

*the man with a few scars

and a few regrets

 -

carries dark memories

of his time in the zoo

 -

and despite the days

he feels sun on his face

 -

moments still come where he longs

for the love felt between those

with nothing to lose

 -

who feel little concern

for the spectators

who’re the rest of the world.*

*

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*


the bar stool wobbled and you said, “i need to move to brooklyn,” at sophies (on 507 e 5th street and avenue a) – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

-odds and ends-

*by someone considering a moving sale*

(frankie leone, just a man)

*

*a bottle of disappearing ink

stands in a well-lit garage

-

camel cigarette dangling from her lips

studded belt low on her hips

-

a malfunctioning compass

stands next to her

gripping her slim waist

-

the clock starts to grand mall seizure

and she begins to fade*

*

*a worn shirt with lace trim

sprayed with a bit of perfume

bears a stain almost undetectable

-

smiling through pain

also unseen by untrained eyes

-

but a dried tear on a ripped sleeve knows

studying her as they sit stoically in a dive

-

watching her leave

as they go nowhere together

on worn bar stools*

*

*a pair of ray-ban wayfarers

looks comfortable on an expensive couch

-

surrounded by the rich, famous, and hopeful

seeming to belong

-

sprawled opposite’s

a life-preserver

who knows he doesn’t

-

she breathes sex out her nostrils

sniffling disinterest out her irises

-

when this lover obstructs her view

-

right before he realizes

no one fell overboard*

*

*a cookie jar walks with raw-sugar bounce

sheen hair falling around her face

-

her eyes promising absolutely nothing

but simultaneously everything

-

in the mind of an unmade bed

in a poorly heated loft

needing a cat

-

who feels confused regret

remembering

the softness of her cheap cotton hoodie

-

during embraces she’ll forget

when her subway car bumps and grinds

-

out of his borough of lost boys

back to her island of broken promises*

*

*a tarnished tiara’s unconcerned

with perceptions of others

-

with a few coins in her stretch jean pockets

and red blood coursing through a petite body

-

a name on the guest list

looks at her awe-struck

but remains mute and paralyzed

-

postured against a graffiti covered wall

-

watching her walk away

in the afternoon sun

through mirrored shades*

*

*a garter belt gun

above legs firing heart palpitations

-

acts impure in an unimpressive vehicle

-

with an old issue of playboy

from a drawer long unopened

-

feeling a different kind of ecstasy than him

-

secure with private knowledge

she’s a sunset almost over

-

exuding silky moans

during pulls of her hair

and kisses on her neck.*

*

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*


the camera-phone-picture-bouquet i sent you was an arrangement out front greenpoint florist (on 703 manhattan ave between norman and meserole) – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

-sixth grade-

*by someone who’s never let youth get in the way

of forming bad habits*

(frankie leone, just a man)

*

*she’s white

-

like snow, ivory

or cocaïne

-

a pretty enigma in my mind

-

i watch her and she knows it

-

amused*

*

*her hair’s black

like licorice, an autumn night

or smokers lungs

-

it’s unlikely she knows

how afraid i am

-

she’s short and fragile-looking

like crystal vases, old lace

or capsules of nitro-glycerin*

*

*i hoard enough courage

to give a birthday gift

i’d heard she’d like

-

a single white rose

-

terrified

-

i can’t look her in the eyes

or hear her voice

-

paralyzed

-

i pass it off to a friend

to give in my place

-

i watch

similar to the way i’ve watched

many times before

-

from across our middle school’s parking lot

-

my friend speaks to her

hands over the flower

and points to me

-

she smiles

-

bringing the rose under a delicate nose

waving to me, yelling “thank you”*

*

*we never speak

-

but under the afternoon sun

i have hope

-

and could easily

be blown away by the light breeze

-

blowing through

our middle school’s parking lot

this summer day.* 

*

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*


you laughed when i said, “let’s wait two hours to eat the hippest frittata in willyburg,” at egg (on 135 n 5th street between bedford and berry) – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

new short story coming soon

*

-i remember-

*by someone who remembers the past

to repeat it in a grander fashion*

(frankie leone, just a man)

*

*i remember buying v*** dinner

 -

she didn’t shave her legs

and told the mean truth*

*

*i remember j***

 -

who cut his own throat

with a knife inside a marine’s

sterling silver money clip

 -

but lived to tell me about it

sitting with the other white boys

-

smoking together in the yard*

*

*i remember m*******

 -

introducing me to her friends

as the first guy to fuck her in the ass*

*

*i remember s****

 -

giving me ten bucks

on a decent twenty-bag

-

finally paying for his own shit*

*

 *i remember momma

 -

telling me she misses

having someone to hug at night*

*

*i remember smacking g***

 -

across the face

for being ungrateful

i pulled a blade on f*****

 -

to defend him*

*

*i remember a**** didn’t care

 -

when i gave her gifts

and how it hurt most

 -

because i knew she wouldn’t

before i gave them*

 *

*i remember skinheads

 -

telling me to put out my marlboro

in the back of cbgb’s

 -

and how gas face

made sure i didn’t have to*

*

*i remember tattooing t****

on the kitchen counter

 -

how he tried to make me

feel awkward by coming onto me

 -

which didn’t work

the way he wanted.*

 *

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*


you won our brawl in rivington 151 (on 151 rivington between clinton and suffolk) – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

-jig-saw puzzle hatred-

*by someone who should’ve burned the pieces long ago*

(frankie leone, just a man)

*

*her smiles are skinny jeans fresh out the dryer

 -

but those clear eyes tired walks in the rain

 -

because they’re not visible

when she looks away

 -

with disinterest i suspect’s planned

 -

making only one change

in the content of her words

 -

the replacement of “you” with “him”*

*

*she tells the truth

like an old jig-saw puzzle

 -

pieces lost, bent, misplaced

thrown away, or hidden

 -

and i resent her ability to

show a marble face

 -

feeling anguish touching the skin

covering my own

 -

textured like inexpensive sand-paper *

*

*darwin would get an erection

and/or die in terror

 -

at her presentation of emotional evolution

 -

thoughtful phrasing ensures

the hammer of social damnation

falls on an empty chamber at the end of her turn

 -

after she convinces me

to play rigged russian roulette

 -

looking straight into my green eyes as

i pull the trigger of her saturday night special*

*

*the blast of her voice usually sounds mature*

*

*an individual with the ability to

pull up the rope ladder of emotion

 -

is more jarring to this man

than any haymaker

 -

she smiles from her tree-house

and i look up for hope from a grassless ground

 -

my body feeling the blow of indifference

like a mack truck

 -

i’ve looked down on the beaten

and laid bleeding on similar concrete

 -

my knuckles bloodied or body broken

after brawling a truth

 -

but she’s the first to level me with a smile

and calmly spoken sentence*

*

 *exposed skin on her face, neck, and shoulders

makes an offer to minds of many men

in this crowded room filled with mistake-inspiring music

 -

her dancing alone

unconcerned with all these guests

 -

my half-smile spreads

seeing a different proposition

 -

before stepping outside to inhale dark air

and exhale grayness

 -

for the first time

staring at moonless skies

i see an answer in this one’s blank features

 -

don’t look here.*

*

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*


we agreed the turkey’s nest tavern (on 94 bedford ave and north 12th street) is a great spot for hopelessness – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

-pour a little out for-

*by someone looking at the same night sky as you

for different answers*

(frankie leone, just a man)

 *

*she seems like she’s somewhere else

 -

sitting quietly

but not nervously

a few feet from where i’m sprawled

 -

bleach-blonde hair falls around her face

dark roots smirk from her scalp

 -

worn clothes with many tears

repaired by punk rock patches

hug her close

 -

allowing black tattoos

to peek out frayed sleeves

when they recess

 -

not a girl or an adult

but definitely a woman

 -

she holds a plastic water-bottle

filled with a mixture of

 -

cranberry juice and malt liquor

 -

staring with polite disinterest

around the small bedroom

 -

my friends

acquaintances

and i lounge in

 -

overpriced new york bought cigarettes

burning away in our hands*

*

*when lady luck pours out half the spirits

in the windows to a soul she often does

 -

with chilled malice

 -

and i know that in between tragedies

the night sky is the only place to look

 -

for forgiveness

for mercy

for pity

for answers

 -

and a moon staring back at draining eyes

never has any of these things to offer*

*

*i see her eyes

they’re blue-green and half-empty

 -

but it’s possible i’m wrong

 -

the case more often than not

-

they could be half-full

-

for a few moments i want

to ask what they’ve seen

 -

before deciding against it

 -

because i’m confident i already know*

*

*looking at her

i wonder how bright

the moon is this chilly night

 -

trying to stifle self-consciousness

then nervousness overwhelms me

 -

re-remembering any grown-up

can tell when a rowdy kid

fills half-empty bottles of booze

 -

with water.*

*

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*


at 3rd ward (on 195 morgan between stagg st and meadow st) you helped me become fiscally responsible – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

-for dear life-

*by someone too comfortable with discomfort*

(frankie leone, just a man)

*

*she’s a luxurious idea

i couldn’t afford from the start

 -

so the rent money’s gone and

grocery money’s a distant memory

-

in the bathroom mirror i see ribs

while i smile, dreaming into starvation

 -

dreaming my expensive idea of her*

*

*i’d said i wanted to forget

i’d said i wanted the pain dulled

 -

i’d said these things with desperation

 -

and tragically they’re on their way

creeping into me

like english ivy through old brick

 -

and i don’t speak of the impending arrival

i don’t indicate my terror

 -

while my stomach growls

and an eviction notice yellows on the door *

*

*i hold on with my remaining strength

as my idea’s pried from my grip

 -

my idea of her

 -

trying with my usual desperation

for my usual tears

my cheek stays dry

 -

and i despair

because it’s time to live.*

*


the four of us played an unsuccessful game of make-believe at morissey night (on spring st between greenwich and hudson) – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

-outsider, angel, prince, and leopard at sway lounge-

*by someone who was desperate

to believe the lie of night life*

(frankie leone, just a man)

 *

(o)he watches the breath-taking three walk thoughtlessly, afraid, white

(a)vibrantly colored freedom swirls behind eyes, colored filters, blue

(p)nervousness escapes pores through a borrowed open shirt, not him, black

(l)unintentional persuasion, poorly restrained behind pretty skin, gold

(o)his scarred bodly leans, green eyes fix, smoke curls near them, grey

(o)they listen closely, he knows within murky blood, inside his soul too, beige

 *

(o)flattery’s paid to an expensive veil covering his authenticity, beige

(a)hips move awkwardly unlike his, the tapwater’s cloudy but tasteless, white

(p)a smile with a life-time warrantee shines, he wonders if he’s a cloud, grey

(l)in shades-weather they’re unworn, like the street-lights the sky forgives, blue

(o)he wears them, often elvis shades the morning after, cheap chipped frames, gold

(o)they see him and watch, even in bright rooms he can’t see the mirror, black

 *

(o)he sees the angel give a chip of herself to the leopard, his abyss deepens, black

(a)existing effortlessly, surrounded by the beautiful unsure lost rotten, beige

(p)wanting the angel, but he’s 24 karat and she knows she’ll pawn him, gold

(l)everything washed together in hot instead of cold, tragic, great shirt, white

(o)he’s always coming into new clothes, but he’s afraid of noble colors, blue

(o)his black ensemble will smell tomorrow, he sits in the smoky room, grey

 *

(o)silent melancholy, his words believable knock-offs through the smoke, grey

(a)more a woman than she looks, she woudn’t kiss him, seeing him, black

(p)he’s beautiful, wandering too far into his third world waters, don’t drown, blue

(l)the ugliness never permeated, but now his smoke’s starting to stain, quit, beige

(o)he looks at them afraid of now and the future, careless with precious things, gold

(o)in the dark room he wonders where he can rest, peter’ll stop him at the gates, white

 *

(o)on canal street he feels in his element, money, rolexes in stands, all fake, gold

(a)can smoke only once a week if she wants, he’s jealous, always over a pack, grey

(p)drinking, he moves to music goofily with a matching platinum smile, warmth, white

(l)the leopard has ambition but a light reflects off it, his is blurred empty space, black

(o)the cabs wait outside, his hoopty is blocks away, it needs washing, dirt, beige

(o)when will his eyes match his expression, when will he see the sky without shades, blue

 *

(o)through thin walls they’ll sleep, he’ll smile at them with the sky tomorrow, blue

(a)always at the pawn shop, always giving away the money, her rolex stolen, gold

(p)colors of the night bleed, innocence compromised, tinging towards his shade, beige

(l)buying 27’s at the bodega, the angel’s brand, clouds of a desperate crush exhaled, grey

(o)at the end of the night unseen passion is heard, his bedroom darkens more, black

(o)longing for something beautiful & unbroken, a prettier truth, bleach for his soul, white

*


you hustled me in the deceptive dim lights of my brain at avenue (on 116 10th ave between 17th st and 18th st) -26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

-card shark in a summer dress-

*by someone holding aces and eights*

(frankie leone, just a man)

*

*she’s uncomfortable without make-up

and apologizes for not looking like a pin-up girl

-

adamantly denying her natural beauty

in a summer dress and large sunglasses

-

he always feels rusty hat pins

-

twirl into the center of his rib cage

hearing breath-taking girls deny their gifts

-

suspecting they mean it*

*

*he knows ugliness

-

he’s seen it in alleyways

-

where moonlight never hits

the hopeless or wicked

-

but streetlight does

and it never forgives them

-

he’s seen it in dives

-

where pages fall off calendars

but none are written to tell stories

of lifetimes surrendered on sticky barstools

-

he’s seen it behind walls

-

where guards unhappy as inmates

rattle worn night sticks on bars

-

and tears fall silently

down weathered faces

in the dark

-

he’s seen it in the mirror

-

and their was a time

passed now

-

he would’ve taken a fate more twisted

than anything bram stoker could imagine

-

for his reflection to disappear for eternity*

*

*ugliness doesn’t sit across from him

-

only this girl with powder white skin

and eyes the warm blue steel

of a freshly fired garter-belt gun

-

dangling a camel from the softest lips

he can remember putting his on*

*

*she smiles and tells truths

that’d wink if they had eyes

-

saying her shortcomings help define her

therefore feeling no need to lie

-

she dislikes children

-

“you can’t use profanity

or  talk about sex with them

-

my two favorite conversation supplements

-

what’s a girl to do, color?”

-

she’s irresponsible

-

“sometimes my alarm goes off

and my adorable dog barks

-

but i hit the snooze button

he poops on my floor

then gets back in bed with me”

-

she tells unflattering stories

-

“when i drink red wine it dyes my mouth

-

earlier this year

i was at a bar in ireland

-

tipsy

on vacation

and flirting with a handsome guy

-

after a few minutes of talking he interrupted

to tell me he wasn’t paying attention

and that my teeth and lips were completely black”*

*

*his heart swells and his smile’s platinum

instead of the usual tin or occasional plastic

-

knowing she’ll inevitably cause pain

but draws his wooden sword regardless

-

while rushing into battle*

*

*it’s bizarre this gorgeous girl

-

smelling like

hope

sex

and worn lace sprayed with perfume

-

puts her flaws down like a royal flush

as he pushes a life-savings in chips

across a poker table covered in

-

stained

burned

and ripped felt

-

losing it all into the eyes

of the most honestly beautiful poker face

-

to ever take his money.*

*


i said you could get “a real american hamburger” at jackson hole (on 517 columbus ave and west 85th street) – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

 *

-brooklyn patriot-

*by someone proud to be an american*

(frankie leone, just a man)

 *

*a young man who doesn’t look too young

thinks he’s lived more than he has

-

and’s never had much of a political stance

besides finding complaints

about the state of his nation

-

masturbatory

-

but as he grows older

jerking off doesn’t cut it anymore*

*

*it’s independence day

-

he exhales winks and longing glances

through his nostrils

walking with feather-weight footsteps

-

riding the manhattan bound l train to bedford ave

heart touching both sides of his ribcage

before slinking onto the street

-

williamsburg enters him through dark sunglasses

the sun smiling onto his arms and face

-

and he falls in love a couple times a minute

with crowds of summer dresses

ray-ban wayfarers

and platform heels*

*

*he meets an old friend

by the running track in mccarren park

-

with placid eyes they talk about

times passed

times present

times to come

and times that never will

-

before driving away from the park

and the safety of a new greenwich village

-

to brooklyn*

*

*from the car they notice a man on his back

surrounded by sullen men and hysterical women

-

drive about twenty feet and stop

-

the friend says

“go check that out”

-

he obliges 

-

moving up the block

his gait casual

covering the windows to his soul with shades

-

not wanting to offend with blatant staring

-

the man on the sidewalk’s having a difficult day

-

laying there 

eyes closed

coughing crimson

-

a small bullet-hole trickling life mars his forehead

-

the young man who doesn’t look too young

runs his eyes over this man

with a shaved head wearing all blue

-

and the crying women surrounding him

sporting more gold than a pawn broker

-

feeling shame

because he doesn’t feel much

-

after 

-

he climbs back into the car

and the friend asks

“what happened?”

-

“he got shot in the head”

-

“why?”

-

“i imagine he made some poor life choices”

he conjectures

-

they drive on

-

as he thinks about the fireworks not far off

and the man stretched out on the concrete

who won’t enjoy them*

*

*hours later he walks back

to the spot the unpleasantness occurred

-

the street’s calm

people are barbecuing

-

the only piece of the scene remaining

a few spots of blood on the asphalt

-

the young man who doesn’t look too young

stares at the reddish spots

re-realizing life stops for no one in this city

-

even when life is lost

-

and he’d better make a big one

because it’ll happen with or without him*

*

*the fourth of july continues

he watches friends play dice 

because he’s broke

-

fires stares at stunning women

working up the nerve to chat with a few

-

and as the end of the night sneaks closer

-

he rides shotgun in a friend’s el camino

listening to funk coursing through it’s speakers

hand out the window feeling the wind

-

the sunset drenches the skyline in orange and pink

above the brooklyn queens expressway

a few fireworks exploding in it

-

and the friend turns to him

speaking in a warm tone

“how you feeling my man”

-

the young man who doesn’t look too young

replies in a soft voice

-

“proud to be an american”

-

and blows a kiss towards heaven.*

*

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the strobe lights hurt your eyes at 1oak (on 415 west 17th st between 9th ave and 10th ave) – m4w – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

 

 

-bitter-sweet apple-

*by someone who’s already taken his bite*

(frankie leone, just a man)

 

*she wades into a skyline

she doesn’t want to understand

 

while smiling towards a dream

not fully formed

 

youth promises

it’ll be there tomorrow

 

while fate washes itself

down the storm drain

of right now

 

responsibility explodes to next week

like a wolf pack of m-80s sold

out of a canal street back room

 

and it’s fucking beautiful.*

 



at bk sew good (on 116 n 5th street between berry and bedford) you told me to go fuck myself – m4w – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

 *

-i’m going to fuck tonight-

*by someone who needs to get laid*

(frankie leone, just a man)

*

*i’m going to

fuck a heatless bedroom

fuck loving ideas with people’s faces

fuck indignant guilt

fuck the classic excuses of an artist

fuck what people should do at this age

fuck manipulative honesty

fuck terrified distrust

fuck remembering to forget

fuck this self-loathing narcissism

fuck noise-bleeding walls

fuck the elusive definition of a hipster

fuck my porn-centered sex ed

fuck convenient vertigo

fuck trivial lies

fuck exploitation of a shadowy past

fuck forever feeling apart

fuck my scarred features

fuck an uncanny ability to make people follow

fuck unforgiving insecurity

fuck using a penis as a switchblade

fuck an airbrushed truth

fuck the wrong clothes for the right dream

fuck skewed ideas of manhood

fuck lack of social inhibition

fuck feeling alone in a crowd of friends

fuck a sneering debit balance

fuck masturbation inside you

fuck selfish benevolence

fuck the cop-out of romantic misery

fuck memories of loss and rejection

fuck limbs covered in inky masks

fuck seeking out those desperate to believe

fuck an adolescent mind in its mid-twenties

fuck this cliche

fuck a haze of jaded comfort

fuck haunting emotions

fuck the bold-faced lie of disinterest

fuck inconsiderate boundaries

fuck vacationless pain

fuck a misplaced childhood

fuck an overzealous conscience

fuck a petrified persona

-

fuck the fear of committing love to meaning.*

*


your thighs got bruised at viva el toro (on 188 berry st between n 3rd st and n 4th st) – m4w – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

- a boos tier and never-ending grin -

*by someone trying to believe it was worth it*

(frankie leone, just a man)

 *

*“the best part of angry sex is before you’re fucking”

 -

she doesn’t seem

shocked or uncomfortable

 -

i continue with discomfort

 -

“the eye-contact

the hard breathing

the grasping

the silent intensity”

 -

turning to glance at me

in the passenger seat of her car

 -

she smiles and keeps driving

 -

with mild animation she says

 -

“yeah the grabbing on the neck and hair…”

 -

and stops, but not abruptly

 -

i start losing myself

 -

in a voice sounding like blonde hair

pulled by a calloused hand

 -

and green eyes staring

into blue ones

 -

i speak again

 -

“just thinking about it i want to…”

 -

my voice stops

like a fallen guillotine blade

 -

with a different kind of energy

i break passed fearful hesitation

 -

“i need to stop talking about this”

 -

i’m not in the mood for sweets

but the conversation turns more vanilla*

 *

*i remember the first time

-

a filament inside me heated and glowed

speaking and looking at her recklessly*

*

we’re on someone else’s bed

 -

she expresses herself with her usual enthusiasm

“we rode the mechanical bull

i stayed on longest but got nasty bruises”

 -

choosing to not help myself

my words walk in a dangerous direction

 -

asking

“on the insides of your thighs”

 -

without outrage

she responds quickly

 -

“yeah”

 -

i stop speaking

 -

something i should do more often

and reveal half my teeth with a half smile

-

then release a laugh that doesn’t sound like

it’d be approved for most audiences

 -

smiling back

i see her amusement

 -

“what was that evil laugh”

 -

my expression endures

but vocal chords stay still

afraid our field was mined

 -

she continus

“it was like

‘i’ve definitely given a few girls those’”

 -

restraint of tongue isn’t my strongest suit

 -

with deliberateness i proceed and

my speech stomps on a widow-maker

 -

“guess i’ve had a few mechanical bull nights too”

 -

the mine’s a dud

 -

i’m not in the mood for sweets

but the conversation turns more apple pie*

 *

*i’ve seen sights

better kept from naked day-light

 -

things i find myself wishing

were still covered in

protective sheets of shadows

 -

she’s one of them

 -

those days she sparkled deceptively

like stones i can’t afford

in the afternoon sun

 -

or glowed seductively

neon lights in twilight hours

 -

but regardless of how i was blinded

by her yesterday

 -

today

 -

my spirit feels resentment

hit by rays of indifferent street light

 -

caught by these lasiked eyes.*

*


i heard our truth loud and clear at academy record annex (on 96 north 6th street between berry st and wythe ave) – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

 *

-youthful indiscretion-

*by someone who’s never liked to listen*

(frankie leone, just a man)

*

*

*i remember her*

*

*

*her hair was cut into an extreme bob

the shape of her face circular

-

the windows to her soul

a pleasant unstriking blue

-

i’m an insecure man

-

so was surprised 

she didn’t intimidate me

like most attractive women

-

and she was a woman

in terms of chronology

-

however

hearing her speak

sounding tortured

-

a smile on her face

-

i suspected

her soul had pig-tails

-

like mine held a cap gun

-

and i suspected

her insides bore wounds

-

like mine

-

insides lady luck

had hatcheted*

*

*

*the truth

always sounds clearer

on vintage vinyl

-

listening  to our truth now

it sounds like

-

my insides

were beginning to scar up

when we met

-

while hers

still dripped crimson

-

our truth sounds like

two mutilated children

loading magazines for infatuous combat

-

anyway

-

our truth sounds like

a death match

made in purgatory.*

*


on your birthday i lied about being your legal guardian so they’d pierce you at fly-rite tattoo (on 492 metropolitan ave between meeker and rodney) – m4m – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

-night vision-

*by someone that can see (himself)

better than most

in the dark*

(frankie leone, just a man)

 *

*he has youth

and a soul like tarnished silver

-

his voice sounding like a fresh-forged church bell

cracked down the center

-

audible through a thunder storm

-

and his eyes are desperate

desperate for hope

-

for a mag light

in blackness thick as tar

-

they make me uncomfortable

-

i look at them

unable to meet his gaze consistently

-

his eyes were in my sockets once*

*

*i feel powerless

-

knowing i can’t give him

the ones resting in my face now

-

wanting to tear them out

and insist he take them*

*

*i listen while

he speaks about brutal fights

-

ones ending with blood and

his body vertical or horizontal

-

i listen 

while he speaks

-

about sharing physical oubliettes with other lost boys

chained into a system that’s forgotten their humanity

-

and the harsher detention center

in his mind

-

i listen

while he speaks

-

about god’s hatred of him

-

how his creator fuels

the burning foundation of his life

-

with whiskey and cocaine*

*

*feeling a rust-colored soul twist

i can’t bring myself to lie

-

i tell him it’ll get darker

and the flames’ll burn hotter

-

he kn0ws i speak the truth*

*

*i sit by the window of my bedroom

looking out over east brooklyn

-

stretching my brain on the rack

-

trying to figure out

how to rip these moist spheres free

-

and force him to accept them

-

but it’s almost certain

the effort will be futile*

-

*thinking of those moments passed

-

those moments 

i looked into his eyes

-

and mine

-

the eyes of a boy i don’t know

yet love

and hate

with every fiber of my humanity

-

i blink back a glaze of tears

praying he’ll go blind.*

 *


you fucked me up at king’s pharmacy (on 241 bedford ave between n 4th and n 3rd st) – m4w – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

 

 

-colorless poppy-

(written before “-an idea, until she wasn’t-“)

*by someone chasing

a sublime dragon*

(frankie leone, just a man)

 

 

*she bleeds

droplets of opium

into my mind

 

tattooing my misted senses

with unique posture

framing liquid moments

 

vortexes with pupils

sucking in stares

 

and a voice

washing our city

in whiskey ease

 

then

 

per usual

reality sobers me

 

as i wonder what it’s like

 

to command others

into infernos of passion

 

across lukewarm bars

and tepid streets

 

effortlessly

 

i wonder what it’s like

 

to tie together

the strings of their emotions

 

and throw them

over electrical wires

 

unconsciously

 

i wonder what it’s like

 

to lace up someone

that makes more sense

 

not knowing

rain’s coming

 

walking out that door

wearing him

 

comfortably

 

and i wonder what it’s like

 

to be unaware i’ll hang

through the night ahead

 

after my memory of her

blots out the sun

 

appropriately.*

 



you smirked while lighting my cigar at the velvet lounge (on 174 broadway between driggs and bedford) – m4w – 26 (williamsburg, borough lost boys)

 

 

-newport pleasure-

(setting of “-devil’s handshake-“)

*by someone who craves something different

these days*

(frankie leone, just a man)

 

 

*i couldn’t tell you which circle

but i’ve seen hell

 

and smoked newports with the devil

 

i found it passing through a small house

in disrepair

staining an anguished suburban landscape

 

there,

dreams and nightmares didn’t exist

 

only the ugliest reality

 

there,

neither hope nor disappointment were present

 

only long-standing resignation

 

the air smelled like

sauerkraut

stale smoke

and

soulless-ness

 

the walls were adorned with inexpensive images of saints

ironic, because god had forgotten this place long ago

 

at least i hope he did

 

there,

the devil and i sat many nights

 

dumping solid and liquid forgetfulness

into a void we could never fill

 

he angrily cursed his creator

she cried in terminal despair

 

he ripped the face around his volcanic eyes

glowering into them through an unbearable reflection

 

all the while, he resentfully shared his cigarettes

 

i watched these things and much more

feeling little, road-kill inside

 

during my time there i saw and heard too much

but simultaneously, too little*

 

 

*most days i only feel sporadic twinges of shame

displaying disfigurements my body bears

 

however

my spirit will always wear a masquerade mask

 

to cover the burns left by the devil’s newports.*

 

 


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*

 

 


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.*

 

 

 


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.”*

 

 

 


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 watched my fantasy of you rise then set at the blackbird parlour on 197 bedford ave and n6th st – m4w – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

-dusk and dawn on bedford ave-

*by someone who doesn’t control the sun*

(frankie leone, just a man)

 *

*he sprawls without thought

-

relieved of things

he has

doesn’t have

is getting

and isn’t going to get

-

surprisingly

no cigarette burns in his hand

no warm feeling’s in his gut

-

from bottom-shelf gin

or middle of the cooler beer

-

someone paid more money

than he makes in a month

-

years and years ago

for the beat-up couch

upholstered with dirty-gold velour

-

he’s half-laying half-sitting on

-

it’s worthless now

but the moments transpiring

are etched on platinum tablets

-

filling the pockets of his faded jeans

-

she reclines unaware

of the same impediments

-

but that’s not out of her norm

-

her clothes are torn and

self scissor-cut hair’s a little greasy

-

it hasn’t seen a brush in a while

-

someone seeing these facts

only as words

-

as ink suspended on paper

-

might not understand they help make her

the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen

-

his long frame bearing a few marks

-

maybe a little too skinny reclines

-

hers the same

does the same

-

they don’t speak

about what was

what is

and what might be

-

regret seems to have forgotten them

-

he looks at her

at her face

-

and has unflawed confidence regret’s never

had a clear recollection of her

-

he’s thrilled to feel

like he’s a couple feet from her

instead of the usual miles away

-

he’s accustomed to watching

her through a scratched spy-glass from

-

even when they’re in the same room

-

her face turns toward him

-

the world-warping blue of her irises

that at times he fools himself into thinking

is the surface of a frozen lake

-

flows into him like a tropical river

-

a film of perspiration

on the skin of her

shoulders neck and face

-

says something he likes too much

-

she’s not drunk

but’s had a drink or two

acquiring that look of guiltless passion

-

rarely present

without some liquid forgetfulness

-

her cigarette burns comfortably

and the embers in his shadowy green eyes

smolder as he bites his lip

-

this man has too many words

-

sometimes in his mind

they’re all he has

-

she takes them from him

bringing breathless joy

-

something happens

the only thing that could(n’t) happen

-

she sighs and flashes almost white teeth

in a devious but almost white-spirited smile

-

taking her time

-

before bringing herself to a slouched sit

leaning forward and resting elbows

on her knees

-

with a relaxed expression

blanketing her features

-

she points her .45 caliber eyes at his

and pulls the trigger

-

nodding her chin upwards

not rushing the gesture

-

this man’s learned

to not trust

-

a dishonest perception

-

but even if it’s lying maliciously

during these ticks of the second hand

-

he’s joyfully swallowing the deceptive hook

to the bottom of his empty stomach

-

and welcoming her bullet

into his green eyes full of scars

-

his expression’s an unmarked page

in a new notebook

-

feeling the truthless hook

nestle into his stomach

-

overtaken with ecstasy

-

he nods his chin once

-

doing what he’s never had the courage to

she stands

she walks

and bends her knees

-

lowering herself

-

to tug on his shoulder

coaxing him to a sitting position

-

and sits down beside him

the entire length of her outer thigh

connecting with his

-

raising her toned arm

an arm with pretty scars

-

she rests her elbow on his bare shoulder

-

running the fingers of her hand

across his stubbly jaw-line

-

his eyes are scared

because this moment will end

-

that’s what they do

-

but hers aren’t

-

she keeps them open

not breaking eye contact

-

pressing lips

that pull on rollie smokes

-

lips he often swears

he’d give his eyes and thumbs to know

-

against his*

*

*this lie of a moment

is an idea

-

within the walls of his skull

-

it whittles itself into his duskly mind

while he sits alone

-

in an empty blackbird parlour

in north brooklyn

-

gazing out the window

watching the rain

-

beat bedford avenue

-

as the hopeful fantasy lingers

in the twilight of his consciousness

-

but staying true to reality

-

it fades

and is left faintly visible

-

by its inevitable dawn.*

*


i smiled from my bike, you stood in front of john varvatos on 315 bowery & 2nd st – m4w – 26 – (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

 

 

-captain ahab-

*by someone that’s fond of the expression

“it is what it is”*

(frankie leone, just a man)

 

 

*the sea of asphalt before him

feels no need

 

to offer promises

explanations

or excuses

 

he understands it

and subdues his expectations

 

steering his two wheeled ship

through the streets and avenues

with no compass

 

it’s an unnecessary instrument

because the eyes of an idea

 

filled with a blue

the sky couldn’t hope to imitate

on her best day

 

float on the horizon

simultaneously guiding him

and eclipsing his streets

 

this boy

with the face

scars

shadowy eyes

and tattoos of a man

 

is like most sailors

following the sea

with respect and love

 

but differs from the other men of his class

sailing his ten speed schooner

with a different purpose

 

he follows those eyes

shaming the skyline

 

to a destination

existing only in his skull

 

conscious of this

he sails

 

through flatbush avenue

starr street

the williamsburg bridge

dupont street

and kent avenue

 

chasing himself

to the ends of his city

and back again

 

there’s probably a logical course

on the shrink-wrapped map

in his torn messenger bag

 

but he’s never had use

for the logical

reasonable

practical

or factual

 

he feels the wind

on his face

 

content with being

lost at sea

 

continuing a warm pursuit

through the borough of lost boys.*

 

 

 


me: dude bleaching his soul at giant laundromat on bedford ave and 173 n 3rd st – m4w – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

 

 

-compassionless clorox at giant laundromat-

*by someone considering giving up

to the drop-off service*

(frankie leone, just a man)

 

 

*“skin’s the largest organ”

 

trick trivia people use

trying to feel superior to others

 

there’ve been moments

i’ve longed for an organ transplant

 

white and pink lines

not the kind for forgetting, mark me

along with ink and indentations

 

they can’t be escaped

because i’m the most secure prisoner

 

one shackled with thoughts

in the rikers of my mind*

 

 

*she’s wasn’t staying gold

but was wrapped in bronze

 

i stared, trying to conceal it

 

she had lines, like mine

a little ink, and some prettier

 

imperfections

 

my green eyes full of rollie smoke

kept exhaling on her

 

seeing a 40 ounce of pain

a six pack of passion

and a fifth gentle sexiness

 

she was shorter in stature

but kissing the night sky in spirit

 

she kindly concealed disinterest

the best she could, which impressed me

not because of it’s (failed) effectiveness

 

because the effort was put forth

 

my city, the bitter-sweet apple, always

wears dark sunglasses and headphones

 

she poised on a cheap wooden chair

pulled clear of an expensive wooden desk

 

projecting her raw-hide persona

on the deep red walls of the small room

 

christmas lights were strung (out?) lazily

through its center while pot stained the air

 

despite my desires i wasn’t

close enough to smell

the beer coloring her breath

 

she spoke with aggressive staccatos

arguing for causes i deemed hopeless

 

or uninteresting

 

i spoke with malcontent

not believing my words

 

subtly and rudely implying

she didn’t understand what we discussed

 

something she easily detected

 

cringing inwardly

i watched her grow to dislike me

 

for a reason i don’t understand

*(A LIE)*

i kept driving our conversation this way

 

even though a filament in my chest

would glow when i saw and heard

 

this woman be a girl*

 

 

*i dump hundreds of dollars of clorox

into the washing machine

at giant laundromat on bedford & north 3rd

 

rotting the fabric of my spirit

desperately thinking my soul

will soon be a colgate smile

 

knowing it will always be

slush in a brooklyn street

 

not long before our argument

this woman was a girl

 

speaking worn velvet to me

about a crush on some boy

 

that from the sound of it

had a bleached soul

or one never soiled

 

i was and am envious

 

this elusive girl usually covered

from head-to-toe in a rawhide persona

 

sometimes with openings

for those eyes and that smile

 

never took it all off for me alone

 

i laid on her bed in dirty skinny jeans

and an undershirt feeling like guilty passion

 

my lanky frame writhing attempting

to relieve discomfort in my back

 

trying to lie myself into forgetting

 

she didn’t want

 

my long fingers in her hair

or my lips on her neck

 

quickly giving up

 

my body kept writhing

on cotton sheets

 

by itself

 

as a sensual woman and pretty girl

covered in rawhide, took it all off

 

from across the room

 

speaking of some boy

with a bleached soul

 

i begrudgingly accepted

unable to forget

 

a poor man’s fortune’s being wasted

at giant laundromat on bedford and north 3rd.*

 

 


that polish vs. black street fight in greenpoint was fucking awesome bro – m4w – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

 *

-commitment issues-

*by someone committed*

(frankie leone, just a man)

 *

*a friend and i

watch the three compete

on the sidewalk of lorimer street

 -

from my burgundy-ish car

 -

sufficiently aged

scratched

dented

and foreign*

 *

*two polish kids, eighteen or nineteen

one black dude, mid twenties

 -

the kids’ mouths run at full sprints

 -

the black guy’s jogs leisurely

unintimidated, amused

 -

until, “get outta our neighbuhhood nigguh”

 -

trips off the tongue of a pole

as he walks away, still speaking

 -

eyebrows on a coffee-colored face

flex a shocked expression upwards

 -

before a warm smile cuts it in two

 -

he rams his chest

into the courageous mouth’s owner

 -

face to face

his words hustling in earnest

 -

“please do sumthin’ stupe-it

i’m muthuh fuckin’ beggin’ you puhrowgee

please please do sumthin’ stupe-it”

 -

one shooting track star nervously spectates

 -

while the confronted kid loses

all the breath that

drove ground-covering words

 -

and bolts to sanctuary in the corner bar

 -

with his luminous smile the black guy shines

a commentators spot-light on the other competitor

 -

wordlessly observing the lack of heart in this race

 -

the remaining kid drops out with no dignity

walking with anxious speed up the block*

 *

*i share my thoughts

on the concluded sporting event

 -

into rollie smoke my friend’s

hung through the interior of my car

 -

“fucking terrible form

 -

whether it’s to

some guy in the street

or a lover in bed

 -

come correctly or don’t come at all

 -

those dudes have serious commitment issues”

 -

my friend smiles in agreement

while i turn the ignition key

in charitable applause.*

*


i got a text at brooklyn bowl (on 61 wythe ave and n 11th st) during the roots show- “lolz obsessions a bad look on ya hun” – m4w – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

 

 

-obsession-

*by someone that’s lost the will to forget*

(frankie leone, just a man)

 

*streetlights

 

desperation for

their interest

and forgiveness*

 

*night skies

 

and answers

they’ve never offered*

 

*filter cigarettes

 

smoked by stunning people

unconcerned with ten dollars a pack

and shortening life spans*

 

*scars

 

how they can be smiled into

or create a loft building phantom

in a hip mask*

 

*sunrises and roses

 

and the beauty

of hopeful hopelessness*

 

*the l(ove) train

 

packed with attractive strangers

shoulder to shoulder

standing alone*

 

*“good” ideas after midnight

 

and desperate acts

that follow them*

 

*the school yard bully

 

finishing the onion’s crossword

comfortable in the flames of an eden

she’s set ablaze

 

a spoiled child

who can’t understand

 

herself*

 

*unrealistic expectations

 

people on pedestals

and the agonizing interstate

to a moment of truth*

 

*eyes

 

light enough to see

deep into a soul*

 

*walking my streets

 

when the sun tires

of brooklyn*

 

*151 kent avenue

 

the promised land

inside walls

bleeding noise*

 

*momma

 

the virgen de guadulupe*

 

*apartment 1**

 

and wearing a broken crown

on a silent throne

in apartment 2** *

 

* ***** ****** *******

 

a mist taking form

with eyes that eclipse my streets*

 

*brooklyn new york

 

the only locale

it’s magical to be lost in*

 

*sex

 

my chrome forty-five

in this gray wilderness

 

or

 

my ornate mask

worn over sincere features*

 

*the coney island bound q(ueen)

 

and tears on a scarred face

behind mirrored shades

awakened by an idea.*

 

 


at the manhattan inn (on 632 manhattan ave and nassua ave) i was envious of your picturesque brooklyn brunch – m4w – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

 

 

valerie’s favorite.


-i meant to call you but i’ve just been and i’m kind of-

*by someone that’s over being over things*

(frankie leone, just a man)

 

*i meant to call you but

 

things are crazy with nights ending alone except for the spinning walls

things are crazy glaring enviously at that couple in mccarren park

things are crazy clock-watching knowing nothing thrilling is at home

things are crazy staring longingly at strangers on the l train

 

i’ve just been

 

so busy keeping everyone at arms length when i actually have time

so busy eating at anna maria’s alone pretending to enjoy solitude

so busy convincing acquaintances i have important things happening

so busy searching missed connections claiming it’s only for entertainment

 

and i’m kind of

 

over hanging with groups of happy people at coney island feeling alone

over searching for newness and excitement when there’s youtube/youporn

over feeling inadequate when there’s remarks to be made about hipsters

over being just another human with desire, fear, obsession and hope

 

i’m sure you can understand.*

 

 


years ago we chain restaurant hustled in times square together – m4w – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

 

 

-mary magdalene might’ve drank black label too-

*by someone that’ll always

feel more for sinners than saints*

(frankie leone, just a man)

 

 

“i’m twenty

but people assume

i’m twenty-five

 

i don’t bother correcting them”

 

she said with a smile

that seemed genuine

 

as waves of sadness swept over me

waves that were clean and foamy

 

but devoid of life

 

i remember

 

our first conversation

she said without shame

 

“i drink and make mistakes”

 

making it clear

these mistakes

were coital

 

hearing it was thrilling

 

like dirty magazines

found by an adolescent boy

in the top shelf of dad’s dresser

 

her obliviousness

and simultaneous

consciousness

 

of her downward spiral was

endearing and heart-wrenching

 

like a smile on a dying child

 

she was attractive

 

but her beauty

and sex appeal

 

were separate

 

her face and figure

were what they were

 

thought-provoking

 

but the morbid beauty i saw

was in her eyes voice and expression

 

she told me how she hustled

a liquor store clerk smiling

 

mischievously

 

i was enthralled

not-to-mention

entertained

 

i smiled

i listened

i twisted inside

 

when one knows that agony

it only entertains to a point

 

then you remember

then you know

then you feel

 

“i got the big bottle of johnny walker”

she said with a 10 karat gold smile.

 

 


when we made out at matchless (on driggs ave and 557 manhattan ave) i cock blocked myself ; your friend was more my style – m4w – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

 

 

-to seekers of a truth-

*by someone who lights his own smokes*

(frankie leone, just a man)

 

 

*some interpret

 

trusting perception

observing fact as truth

 

and mindfulness to the

approval of other beings

 

signs of self awareness

 

these putrid scents of incense

might have meaning only

 

after windows are flung open

and ashes are scattered freely*

 

 

*when gratitude replaces revulsion

the devil takes the needle off the record

 

unable to bump and grind to

melodies of gangrened thought

 

tortured gyrations are disingenuous

when seething disgust is amputated*

 

 

*beautiful people

look like sex and cigarettes

 

is what’s said in our streets

 

by those who don’t know fucking

and haven’t smoked true brands*

 

 

*i’ve embraced better animals

than you’ve ever heard whispered of

 

wearing broken noses and dirty clothes

stretched across worthless furniture

in poorly heated kent avenue lofts

 

but i’ve seen the blind there too

who won’t dance with the devil

safely choosing records that

 

play tunes suited more for comfort

than unsterile reflections neglected.*


i deserve more than a child – w4m – 21 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

 

 

below is a piece by borough of lost boys’

first guest writer.

 

 

a beautiful woman.

 

a beautiful woman

a self-loathing narcissist wronged.

 

a beautiful woman

a self-loathing narcissist wronged

seeing things in him he couldn’t.

 

 

(* substitutions made.

she wasn’t informed of her presence here.)

 

 

Joe Pesci Deserves A Happy Ending

By S***** ******a *********

 

 

I laid with a boy who has the skin of a man,

Who weathered his voice in the darkness

Until it burst into storm.

 

He would swim in the sea of his blankets

And anchor himself to sleep while

I tickled my feet on meadows of

Green grown grass and watched the day break.

 

And during brief moments when our worlds caressed—

Our bodies would pull at one another, at limbs and skin,

Pushing up against the other and breaking, like waves,

Never able to join two minds in different places into one room.

 

We both harbored ourselves from dark places

Where at different times we’d suffered our own exile;

We’d both ripped at ourselves, tore at our own bodies,

Overly aware of our mortality, sucking at it,

Then pushing it away, perhaps ungratefully.

 

The more I laid with a boy who had the skin of a man,

The more the vastness shrank into nonexistence.

 

 


gregg araki made homo-eroticism look better on the screen than it was on the south side of w’burg – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

 *

-casual encounters-

*by someone displeased

emotions are hard to fuck away*

(frankie leone, just a man)

*

*experience vomits most strangers give lousy head*

 *

*her eyes won’t leave the horizon

staring safety pins without fasteners

in and out of reason and logic

-

green eyes set in this rough face stare back

blinded comfortably with reckless hope

-

light blue irises in a navy night sky aren’t feeling kind

granting enough vision to see a silhouette of the truth*

 *

*the machine snows my face with an emotionless glow

in frenzied loneliness i search its features


i’ll find a blind-fold until dawn

-

it’s unimportant if it’s made

with old money cashmere

blood money razor wire

skin of woman, man, beast, or bird

-

orange light seeps through dirty windows of my loft

-

the same shade as a cigarette cherry in darkness

-

a cigarette cherry burning with utilitarian purpose*

 *

*the wrong bodily fluids are sexier than desperation

-

the desperate, negotiate, compromise, accept

the desperate grope, grasp, gasp in the dark

the desperate resign, surrender, contract fuck its

-

south *** street and ******

second floor apartment

above a laundromat

-

names aren’t exchanged*

 *

*it doesn’t seem unreal, doesn’t feel too real

-

simply now

-

we walk up the staircase

one solid flight to a tepid unknown

-

on the way up

“are you high right now”

trickles from his hopeful lips

-

“no”

-

“you seem so calm

you’re not high”

-

“i’m like this most of the time

i don’t need drugs to throw down a fuck”

-

he doesn’t laugh, he giggles

-

“ok”*

 *

*first kiss

-

reform school girl

italian, rich, big tits

originally from chi-town

-

timidly, in the back

of a twelve person van*

 *

*he persists with formalities

“would you like a drink”

-

“i don’t need it”*

 *

*first kiss

-

27-year-old gay guy

asian, rich, defined body

originally from across the pacific

-

straight hair pulled back unapologetically

he’s pinned against a south side apt. wall*

 *

*he’s fucked plenty of accelerated nights into blood-shot dawns

-

i’m not intimidated just scared for myself

of what, i’m too much of a coward to identify

-

my wounded aggression startles him into speech

-

“you said you’ve never hooked up with a guy before”

-

“no”

-

“really”

-

“yeah”

-

“you’re not high”

-

“please stop asking”

-

“what’re your kinks”

-

“i don’t know, how does this all work

straight people don’t use that term”

-

“you’re making it too complicated”

-

menacing silence

more awkward than a lost hard-on

-

i sucker punch it

-

“i want to fuck you from behind”

-

“i’m not a whore

i don’t do one night stands”

-

i don’t try to understand, just accept

-

this feels like coercing a friend to lend what he can

-

“could you suck me off”

-

a small spill of a smile cuts out of those features into my memory*

 *

*soft a minute or so in

-

“i’m pretty nervous”

-

“i would be too”

-

he stays on his knees

ass shifting onto ankles

-

i decide

“i’m going to leave”

-

“why”

-

“i’m being rudely honest with a stranger

but my cock’s been in your mouth

-

i realize now, too late

i came here to connect with someone

-

that was a ridiculous idea”

-

black eyes focus on my face firmly

the intensity’s almost gentle

before relaxing in resolution

-

“we could go on a date sometime”

-

the night’s events are strung out enough

half-aspirin lies aren’t on my to-do list

-

the subject changes abruptly, i speak

-

“what do you do”

-

“i’m an interior designer

what do you do”

-

“i move apartments and go to college, both full time

in spare moments of agony i do things like this

writing them into creative non-fiction later, part time”

-

expecting a satisfying response

would be expecting a pony from santa

-

his family might be buddhist

-

“you’ve never hooked up with a guy

and you’re not high”

-

irritation distracts me

my voice pisses

on the toilet seat intentionally

-

“no, fucked up right

what’s your name”

-

“alfonso, what’s yours”

-

“frankie”

-

we shake hands, i continue as a human being

-

“sorry for messing up your night alfonso”

-

it doesn’t register this motherfucker’s italian as jet li*

 *

*down one solid flight

into the streets of brooklyn

-

the truth pulls me by the ear

towards my ten speed bicycle

as my pajama pants pocket vibrates

-

the text message reads

“I WNT 2 FNISH MY BLW JB.”*

*


we would’ve put sid and nancy to shame at the chelsea hotel (on 9th ave and 223 west 23rd st) – 26 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

-devils handshake-

*by someone who’s heard you can learn

a lot about a man by his handshake*

(frankie leone, just a man)

 *

*the coals surrounding us

branding our graying souls

-

were black and glowing dark

-

while we stumbled side-by-side

through our shrinking hell

-

sometimes aware of each other

-

she’d forgotten our passion

because it’s likely

-

neither of us experienced

this feeling i remember

-

regardless

-

its memory scorches me

worse than the coals fencing us in*

*

*the devil helped

feed the voracious emptiness

that was all we had

-

with anything we’d welcome

into our bodies in powder or liquid form

-

maybe this was intended as

a gesture of perverse mercy

-

but

-

during these failures to fill our voids

i’d look at her unable to forget

the real atrocity floating in my existence

-

my memory of what might’ve never been*

*

*he gave me a moment of near-relief

-

and to this day i don’t understand why

the devil allowed me to steal

a grotesquely beautiful moment

-

during one of many uneventful nights

we composted, guests in his cheap motel room*

*

*his whiskey’d run out hours ago

but his last cigarette called

-

fear was beaten out of me

with everything else

-

without thought i stole

the devil’s last newport

-

lit it while she smiled sleepily

meeting my blank stare with hers

-

i feigned playfulness

blowing smoke onto her face

-

in my only successful attempt

to make nothing mean something

i spoke to her slowly

-

“rome’s been burning for a long time

and my fiddle-strings are long gone

-

but we’re still platinum

even if we can’t dance anymore

-

i’m loving you into all these flames”

-

i’m unsure but i might’ve smiled

before taking a few fast puffs

without inhaling, making the cherry hot

-

and placed the devil’s last cigarette

into the palm of my left hand

-

then

-

he blessed us with his only honest gift

beyond the black coals*

*

*she understood our moment

gripping my hand fiercely

-

in that place with no hope change sun or moon

helping the devil’s last newport burn us

-

it was a mild itch but enough to stir life

-

we stared deep into each other’s shallow eyes

for an eternity within our eternity*

*

*i saw what i wanted*

*

*years have evaporated

from what’s become a life

-

but i often look backwards in desperation

trying to read our eyes in those moments

-

sometimes i think

it was merely our lost humanity flashing

-

but i’m terrified

and comforted

-

i might never remember the truth

-

now, my scarred left hand moves this pen

and i’m surrounded by all these pretty things

-

bathing in morning light wandering through these windows

and i believe i’d burn all of it to know for certain

-

it was love i saw rising from our flames.*

*


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