They’ll have robotic bees soon Halal quarrels over Venmo Muji distopia Fanny-pack disphoria That’s the lack of, not the opposite White men run the counter of Mamoun’s Rest in Peace St. Marks Can’t wait for your pencil-dick towers to shadow over rivers Keep your Ben and Jerry’s Fuck it with the Continental 5 for 10 Generations for steel and cork facades Grates the griddles Steam heat of an underbelly Sun, Hell here and Hell under at least the buses make less noise.
lower east side
Your honks Now come with trigger warnings Right of way to shark boy and his three-wheeled scooter Mommy’s on the Gram Pleasantries her traffic light Right Fake on Go Daddy’s pushing stroller for the akita
Your Uniqlo’s swapped floors Women take the stairs now Must be the patriarchy. Your men no longer anger-navigate the elevator In fact they think it’s theirs Pizza parties fifteenth floor This hotel is for them too.
You’ll no less bring back cargo pants Guy Harvey tees to follow And then froyo Post-modern Tasti-D-Lites But like pus I love watching you see the under pressure, this island your pore.
Bile-puddled paths Neighbor nestled nooks For retweets and spritzes And avocado toast that doesn’t fucking belong.
You’re growing soft, you old fart Soft and pudgy Pop-up shops for drove-in Four-Wheeler Photo booths Chino shorts on your mother’s credit card Self-fulfillment you’re all Trumps.
You’re working on your trash Your notice taken with the rats Your bins overflowing still You keep digging yourself into a maze.
Astounding really I hope you’re proud and loud No Grace filter for your Selfie? That’s really at the marrow, isn’t it You think you’re hyper cool and Hyper safe I was roofied once in a ghost building gone Gelateria You walk now with your head facing the opposite direction Slower now No jaywalking now And yet you’ve become indignant Dare I say boring Good job my Prince You’ve turned yourself into Vegas.
something about cities
People are like cities here But you’ve always only been yourself, haven’t you Rooftops in Brooklyn got Nothing on your sneer Or twinkle of eye you don’t yet know you’ve got.
At least this time around.
Hipsters have their babies now, Canon satchels Warby Parkers ‘Manhattan on Safari’ That’s what we’ll call it Dickie couture Yves Saint Laurent Cut offs tucked into running shorts Fanny packs are back You’d think they’d run out of ideas by now Scuffed shoes On Lorimer, though I counted them all All Scattered and flying through like stars, or Streets I used to stumble Or like there in our L.A., The houses that belonged to Simon Cowell. They say he’s drinking beer, You never liked the taste You prefer a whiskey Erasure.
There’s still magic here I’d forgotten, you know. Mothers pressing hands on baby’s ears, Smiles down under on the platform, As their C to High Street’s rolling in The baby keeps on sleeping. Poet Fathers with Picasso sons Cardboard signs ‘Love and care our Earth’ I want to see you hold a child’s hand.
I ride a train towards another person’s home, Another man I’ll fuck for the view. Where are you now? I’m somewhere under still, Someplace between 14th and up. You’d hate the heat, At least the way it’s been Swamp dick, a musty ass The desert suits us more.
Here there’s other men. Different flours, Water always never tastes the same Depending on the hangover And or the avenue These island boroughs have stayed the same However There’s now a Starbucks on Allen and something or other God this heat Week-long Summer. Beads of sweat that taste of tears down here I know you don’t like those And yet I’m beginning to think I need them If not to love song Then to plea for you For you to hold me in your arms For me to know you mean it tight It’s not an errand But something that you want For me Or for us Or for you so I’ll keep The train’s a station away It’s getting hotter by the second Breeze of the underground Break this Earth I stand on for a living That’s a living Living to want to Live I beg of you Submit my fever dreaming heart into Knowing that you’ll want me back So that this home I wish to Show and brag with you Will simmer from Hudson river aqua into rat-trash fumes Into yesteryear until it’s finally gone. Even if you only say it I’ll think of it as true, I’ll hold off that demon air in corner number four And tell my aches I’ll still be wanted after Christmas Season After parties When Winter People are no longer wanted And tossed with flipsides of high life ‘At least we had processo.’
There was something about cities, here, I was working hoping leading towards concluding with, Something like the other shoe.
I wish you were parked outside my house like that one time, The time I pretended I wasn’t home. I wish I were home and looking out the window Watching you There was something to you hoping An Embodiment of something Someone Wanting me.
Let’s just meet at the Grove? Valet in the parking garage There’s a gin bar I’ve been meaning to try, They say Constance Wu is fantastic in that movie Hustlers. Maybe cities are the people you do things with. I don’t know what that makes people.
It’s too easy calling you L.A.
Re other men, I’ll swallow all explanation for later Please trust me, For I will no less and inevitably self-destruct They way you know I can The way that irritates Yet makes you think you’ve done it right, Your stronghold my frailty Kamikaze dreams of arms And laughter Plastic cup cupboards And overcooked falafel.
I wish they had Mamoun’s in Chelsea. I’d love to watch you act as if it’s something you’ve had better somewhere else.
‘Welcome,’ she said and meaning it too. ‘thank you’ I said, needing to pee.
noise of the wood
Noise of the wood A clink with a spoon Skies in its colors Mahogany to quartz And into it too Like pillars of salt yet Rested on sand
Bark cut-ted to glass Shard-rooted jewels, city towers Their speckled roofs of different heights Grooves and floor to ceiling heights
Helicopter pads, too.
Jurassic tenacity with teeth mazes, maps needed With Latitudes and Longitudes The stump Now that’s its hemisphere
For these crystals of a crystal of time Now polished and chromed over Drilled into bits for a hose Then gutted and fitted And set in a corner
A sheltered space Protected from the meteors that first Turned this tree to rock And Left forever to be ignored Or set next to the garden gnome: $284.
Little kids are playing soccer The ones acting like I used to Tangling themselves in goalie nets The parents we never turned into neverminding. A daddy plays his boombox For the crowd Empire of the Sun, remember them His playlist blaring louder now You know the one Remember when we’d heard it My first time was magic but for you a chore Over at that spot we used to know That Extra Fancy The one where a lady-turned-mommy served us Gansetts And the lighting looked good enough for oysters?
Do you remember Steve? That dude The one The guy from Full Circle Cracked us tall boys of Genesee I think Fixed us skee-ball that one time, then handed over tally chalk for scores? I think saw him wearing Chinos Outside of Artichoke The one on North 7th By Starbucks By the Dunkin’ By the train And fussing with his iPad Sweat-back looking grody Did you know they’d one day grow into what we’re close to becoming?
I suppose I never thought ahead, Too much looking down My hand with yours Or any time we walked along something new For me Polished concrete Or that hallway towards Larry Lawrence They closed it down It’s gone for good.
There’s also people here Who look like what we used to do Doing things we used to be Though now they’ve got their White Claws And Triple-Lens phones Lounging on our bench-shaped stones And dreaming upon towers We never knew or cared would one day exist for them to ponder on This never was our spot, was it?
Wishing wells erode Over time And yet there Still remains, Some times at least, Yesteryear precipices Those Mesas on top of pillars Floating glad-ware lids for canyons Too large to fresh-seal shut for good. These plateaus are carved around, Speckled relics sometimes close But often far in way Luckily still Lucky Dog and Allswell They’re still there The promenade at Brooklyn Heights I suppose that one’s all me
The ones once ours Were they really that Or just new for me and still fun for you? Did we fall upon a world of our own disgraces Camel Blue kisses Or without regard A concoction of totems familiar enough for you to bleed freely? There remains however Our temple of our Four Corners, though. You remember it, don’t you You must How could you forget I won’t allow you to Their Grand Ferry Park ‘Our’ Sapporos in paper bags Hands held after Even after fights Outside Vanessa’s The one by you Transplanted from the village Oils for the hangover.
The smokestack there Still remains The bench where words were said You said something Like on your roof I’ve never forgotten PJ knew it too I knew her after you but ‘You are this city to me.’
Two times you’d told me The first a proclamation The second a surrender to decision To you leaving We won’t go there yet But the first my God Muttered whisper ignites the waterworks Lullaby under bridge’s rumble Commotion of stampeding thunder You mumble Soft rain in Spring But Spring between Barrow and Morton only I look up under bridges Because on top is where you showed me where the river bent You hold me And the Hasids are watching And the Freedom Tower’s going up And the Empire’s not knowing what reigns will trump its spire. The Domino sugar factory was still there, wasn’t it? Remember the cranes? Or Glasslands for rock? And the rock Gone Mostly You’d think this space was separated with glass No touching.
Camel Blue’s from your pocket Another Sapporo. Clouds of smoke… Though with certainty we’d know It’d all soon change. We knew we’d leave. The geotag was ours but so soon These towers would be new again And they are Bleaching skyline and our promises Into something out of Mars.
The playlist is still going.
Mommy’s thrown a football To her little boy ‘Good one, Adam’ They’re playing sports now The ones who’d grovel for a taco at our Union Pool Their.
Perhaps they always did. Grow, I mean Grow into something they had to be, by choice or missed train That shaped into them Gwenyth Paltrow yuppies with cleats and doggy-walking apps. Perhaps I never noticed Seeing now As city people grow And move and have And watch and grow I held on expecting it to stay the same For a dream of you and me
Should LA ever burn We’d have concretes where Blue Bottle used to be, Remember when that was new? How’re your wedding plans coming along?
Wishing wells erode over time and Yet there still remains Our chiseled Relics of the beaches for which we would lay for even dead Winter’s Sun. People like rivers and water, I I wish That these canyons Came with drains So once all was dry I could climb down and spelunker Maybe then I’d find The reasons why you left me After choosing me Your City Your place, apparently.
And your ghost Search the streets that led us to our high lives I haunt them now Right now These mesas And these bars of cities we once knew, As if for the first time, and always that
Whiskey’s tasting old.
slipping down the’s
Cars slipping down ‘The’s’ Cascading river of fuming light They don’t know what they’ve made for us Up here or up above I don’t think they even give a shit
I know I wouldn’t
Bjork had a video once, Something about us Us Super computer humans with Microchip warehouses And Datahouse condos Prius coffins also all Overheating Pulses Avid clicks On fire We always look it, don’t we
The Sun That’s blood orange of Northern Italy Milan on the horizon Where’d you get that from It looks lovely on you, doesn’t it
The speckled congregations of halogen and pathogen You should see how Berlin divides from Space You mass Metastasizing Turnpike veins Lumpectomies for Costco’s Strip-malls the historic brownstone You’re post-modern babe Googie temples Drive-thru Mecca You wouldn’t want Paris…
But its recipes Or AirBNBs Its Grams and the cobblestone No maybe not that Digging for the finest ideas City harvesters Acting as gatherers Sometimes the gesture does us in enough. An idea of you as home as always frightened me ‘I’d rather be buried elsewhere’.
But yes I suppose there’s something more Now I see you Something you’re brought on me You tumor of grids Masses of galaxies Trons of Jons and Vons
Lawns People yearn for the maps of our stars They always fall but Never across the sky For all the gravities you push into your orbit Bunch up And pull up Into the hills Constellations overlooking Milky Ways
You’re just all of me And all of us Us dreamers Wielding tongues of snakes and shamans Saturn Sirens Vegans of Neptune Peasants of Pluto we meme-share without desire for contact Elitist loner-dom Anti-stans
Echoed shadows my denizens I’m home and I’m landing How God I wish I could see you at night when I look up at the sky the way I look at you on the ground
Landing now I’ll need a smoke Maybe then I’ll say I’m home Here it comes Tires down Our Landing gear in set Concrete burn and skid $60 Uber And standing idly on the escalator no matter which side you wish to lean I taste the dry Air cakes the face, cake face mask Smog-filtered movie-glasses Rose Into Rosé and violet and Aperol Spritz Heavenly graffiti.
Being here’s always waiting on the gates.
Fuck being buried, I don’t know if we’re ever getting in.
I dream of you in daze Into nights when I see you And I’m reminded of the Familiar fear of never worrying – I’m used to worry: It’s a pocket pet I’ve fed over the years With years And stamps It’s a A Bracketed lapse in living Where I see the known ways I could hurt You, possible even Break you End us Tear away the familiarity and turn it Into shadow.
There’s many ways I’ve gone about it Before Many ways repeated Many more ready for another run.
I could sleep with another man. Perhaps a friend Or worse a foe Get you to worry our one on one’s got us Turned on you, Us Knowing more now of the more of you You chose to give us I’ve done that.
I could do ayahuasca in a suite in New Orleans Northernmost city of the Caribbean Seeing all the alien Gods Or the insides of my coffin Both the box I’m in but also the body that I am And see what needs feeding then ‘Not you’ ‘No you don’t supply’ I’ll return to Beachwood and sit in my chair And ghost you into phantom yesteryear Yeah, I’ve done that too.
I could love you only when I’m pistol- Ready, Bulleit made, foggy-brained And say it till it’s obvious and Predictable And text you after that I’m gonna Marry you And drunken-drive to you with Twenty dollars worth of dollar Del Taco And make you watch Videos of Me Or Stevie and pass out and half cum in the Morning And slowly over time Mistaken hangover for you and Decide that I need re-centering and Distance (but never from the bottle) And worse! – That all of it was only what had ‘happened in the night’ That’s been me.
I could touch you. Shit that was the other one, no You like it when I’m holding onto us –
I could hit you.
Worse, I could say the things a person isn’t allowed to say The dagger proclamation Of my silver-tongued knife Wielded by this Monkey on my back I’ve Forgotten about otherwise And once it’s in you I’ll twist And Let It Pour That’s all been me, too.
I could be an executive at a studio Sign on your mortal enemy The Nemesis In spite of you – Get him two seasons Something About how he’s misunderstood but Still molests at Akbar or the Dome
(but only because that’s something I’d do too as that kind of guy who would) Going buddy-buddy with him to dinners Or at your favorite spots Karaoke singsong, songs about paninis Or Pre-teen demigods who think They’re bad guys with daddy’s pocketbook of checks. And I’ll play nice with you Because it gets you going Gets me ahead Oh Always nice Nice nice nice You hate nice ‘boy, can’t that betray a soul?’ you say Yes sir, I agree – Edit: No, I probably wouldn’t go that far. I don’t know that I’m even capable Keep it, as they’d say
That idea’s cancelled.
I could keep believing what I fear is true The spring of all my doubts that I am Not good. Particularly at being good which is Different than just good enough for you I worry.
There’s a lot of things I wouldn’t do Anymore. A lot of things I’m incapable of Maybe even Tired of trying? Getting away with. Weak-kneed but in the stomach with dry eyes Over The gallivanting And the schmoozing I just want home already I worry. But also Maybe there’s also something there? In that? In that I dunno You know me better sometimes You’re the one who reads me Has to see me I’m just living ‘me’ I Just Think it, will you
West elm sofas. A loveseat. Something local for a coffee table. Dinners. Dinner in general Memberships to Wagville Never Disney+ And The movies you’ve wanted to show me. The words I’ve wanted you to know. Maybe the place has a bathtub. Two bed. Luxury tomb. Patio parties and proud soirees and Top shelf liquor with that CVS discount Cluttered glove compartment stuffed with receipt scarves. A little less drinking Maybe at the start at least until doors Close more And I’m working when you’re watching Or I’m watching while you’re gone And it all goes back to what it used to be Before we promised something new I worry.
For when it’s done and the dog is passed and stuffed makes a doorstop and you’re Thinking Hancock Park of Paris and I’m thinking New York, Brooklyn or dead A love is a lifetime I worry.
What if something happens Something different dare I say Something weird that could happen Doesn’t happen I don’t see Happening To me But just me I haven’t thought of us that way –
What if we grow old together? There go promised memories of your Hand holding mine Scratching the back of your head But now –
A forever-adding flipbook – Our same hands But with new spots Thinner skin. Closer every day towards our Wither Away The chances of who will fade from us First. For to die alone is to go in peace But in the arms of a lover, their forever agony. Is all of that worse? Is to love to know what will be lost? Is it to hold it regardless of these Boundaries in time, Our Angelino mountains, And drown our lungs in the vapor of now