Saturday, February 20, 2016


Why am I standing here now? On the corner,
an old tavern that sags, announcing its place
with old Oliver and Hardy mornings when old
gents start milling around. The miller in his
capstone features drags along. It's dark inside,
and no one's yet discovered light. The soul is
a spiritual cascade, a chiaroscuro of moving
form. One man, with is cane, points left.
Adventure runs its course: The girls who marry
and take the other's name, nowadays they get
forgotten quickly. William Wilberforce, the
man who outlined English slavery, forgot
about that one. Hyphens now, to the rescue.
Why should I make anything clear? I am barren,
and so my words shall be. Here, alongside
Houston Street, the broad traffic runs to
Brooklyn, maybe  -  some old lady's garden
kept well in memory of that very same shade
and dark. People pass, in ones and twos. In
today's world everyone is pleasant and sweet.
I can remember near this very same spot when I
was thirty : you'd be killed for your nickels, if you
wanted, and sneered at or beaten for a smile.
Don't do it, and don't walk here, where Bowery
crossed Houston  - not worth it at all. The girls
had all been jumping, for over a hundred years,
their vagaries of sin eventually here to win.
McGuirk's Suicide Hall, that tavern and
whorehouse was called back then.