Thursday, November 14, 2013


I used to run
with a black
bald headed
dope fiend
name of Raymond
up to Harlem
in the sixties
to cop.
We liked to score
in The Sahara Lounge
on 128 and Lenox.
The big buck
at the door
never thought
we were cops:
we looked
too hungry.
They still sold
fat deuces
and treys
in there
could get
both of us
The city
was the city
back then;
the dirt
still had
the turn
of the century
in it
and all the mixed
mixtures living
asshole to elbow.

The police
and dicks
knew we weren't
up there for cheap
sex and some
would eye us
as we made it
to 1,2,5
and out.
Raymond had stashed
works all over
Manhattan: the hospital
where he worked, rooftops
near his work, and on
the steps leading up
to his roof where he lived
with his ol' lady
and a kid.
being the good diabetic
had works on me
and a card:
Diabetic Uses Insulin.
Of course,
that left out
the eye dropper
which I preferred.

We usually
had luck
or stupidity
on our side.
And we had
two good women
who threw us out
on our ass
when they realized
they couldn't compete
against the dead.

Those were
different times.
The game
has changed.
Even being a junkie
is part of the square culture
and Times Square
is a Minnesota mall
and uptown
is downtown
for the upwardly mobile.

Gonna miss ya.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2013

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