And heavens parted,
just as Moses did.
Or rather the opposite.
Skies instead of sea,
wet instead of the dry,
and not lofted men, but me.
And rather than sea bed
a concrete maze of city streets
upon which the grey skies weep.
Jacket with hood
which I refuse to use.
Glasses bead up; angelic sweat
Natural pitter-patter on leaves,
unnatural splatter-splatter from gutters onto streets,
a golden mean as it lands on me.
Gather strange looks from those in cars,
to be kept in my pocket (now wet),
as reminder what not to be.
Stray dog approaches; it drips too
I am not fearful,
for it understands
as I do.
Another Alaska poem
As I got closer to home, people were distinctly less ‘American New York’, and more ‘Irish New York’, or ‘Russian New York’, or even ‘German New York’. The Lower East Side had more and more immigrants every day – not that I cared much, I mean, if it hadn’t been for the Pole who offered me a discounted apartment on the condition I taught his kid to write English, I probably wouldn’t be living anywhere at all.
The apartment was pretty crummy anyhow, the definition of Lower East Side; I’d jammed a torn up sofa into a corner, across from a shelf with a couple of records and a busted player that I’d copped from a junkyard whilst I was working there. The kitchen began immediately after, the white tiles now yellowed from smoking, or perhaps just age, the sink taps dripping hypnotic drops of water. There was a small table and two chairs that my father had made for me when I first moved to New York – he actually made four chairs, but the apartment wasn’t big enough for it. Two doors went off from the kitchen, one to my bedroom, furnished with only an aching double bed with sack-quilts which itched and a dresser with clothes and books strewn across it, and one to the bathroom, the tub jammed so close to the toilet that I could clean it whilst taking bath if I so pleased.
I’d promised Roland that I’d go out with him tonight, so I didn’t collapse on the sofa and listen to some music like I usually do – I headed straight for the bathroom and drew a quick bath so I wouldn’t smell like a john when walking round the city. The water was actually surprisingly warm, considering most of the time it would either be freezing cold or a blah-lukewarm that didn’t really feel very comfortable, and I was tempted to draw out my wash, but I quickly drained and dried off with some old towel left hanging off the door.
I took a look outside to see what time of day it was getting to, and to my dismay it was indeed dark, so I changed quickly and headed out the door, back into the city.
Continuation on my last ‘New York Scene’