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


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


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.*


thank you for reading.

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About Frankie Leone

Tries to write a version of his truth. Also a nightlife worker. Born at Beth Israel Hospital on 1st Ave between 16th and 17th St on December 15, 1984. Lives in Brooklyn. Bears a few scars, tattoos, and regrets. View all posts by Frankie Leone

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