OUTSIDE THE NICKELODEON
Standing athwart the bellows, two sewer guys go by; working,
they have to pop open a grate and it takes a huge lever. I watch.
This spot here used to be the big 14th Street Nickelodeon I
remember - little things out front too, into which you'd peer
your eyes and crank a handle for the start - a spring-tension
effect which ran the two-minute reel. Cowboys. Rescues. Guys
on roofs. Junk-stuff, a lot like that. But you didn't really notice
when you were simply enticed by figures which moved.
Horses also, they used to clomp by : the ice-man on his rigged
cart, the giant forceps hanging on the side, huge squares of
ice from which he cut desired amounts. Like we do with pie
and pudding now. The sharpener of knives and blades,
when people weren't afraid. Even the funeral wagon would
roll by, dressed in black, and slow. Some looked up,
while others would never make eye contact.
The difference was pretty stark.