Tuesday, June 21, 2016


on my little patch
of Hell:
A memorial
this morning
for Mr. Bamberg
who spent 15 years
in Green Haven
on a 25 to Life bid
lived for 6 months
with us
before pancreatic cancer
did what the streets couldn't:
take him out.
The staff
& his cousin was there.
It seems Mr. Bamberg
was real pleasant
to work with & his nephew
claimed he taught him
everything his dead parents couldn't:
except how to get out of his own zip code.
And then there were our tenants
who came our of their caves
for the free cake & coffee.

Then there are the live ones:

Ronny's on a cocaine binge;
his two hands as big as pillows
from I.V.ing his veins
and missing;
Little Paulie has an abscess
from shooting dope into dead highways;
Bent Over Paulie
who has a hump back
from scoliosis
& great nutrition, split
from his hospital bed
& was last seen hustling
roses down the avenue
of the dead
on 42 do-wop street; Eva
was issued a bench warrant;
& Marty began a gig--
his first one in ten years
since his 7 year bid
in Dannemora
and looked like a kid
when he came back
to tell me.
might find that depressing.
Too bad
for them. They've never
missed a meal
or slept on a grate;
they never walked
down a street
that wasn't lit
for them.
But I've got
an easy two days
off that I'm going
to enjoy. Praise
the Lord.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2016

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