Saturday, November 7, 2015


It was a time,
and it was an attitude.
It was New Orleans
raw & dangerous, when evenings
were leaned in to
& junk was still a black thing
& young white boys wanted
to be in the know
thought they knew
how to be black.
Dive clubs & hip kitties.
Poses & jazz
& simple lives
turned impossibly
It was a time
when musicians could play
for a week & work ideas
into riffs & people listened
& nodded
their heads
in sympathy
& agreement.
Men knew
the impossibility
of women
& women knew
the impossibility
of men
ever hoping
to come out
of childhood.

We were young
& beat-up;
seeing too much
before we were able
to see our place.
Oysters were a quarter;
a beer and a shot
was seventy-five cents;
and last call
was never.
We'd thought
we'd gotten beyond the haze
into the meaning; we'd thought
that we could escape
our lives
by pissing on them.
The only thing we caught
was our own hair
in the zipper...& boy
did that smart.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2015

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