Saturday, October 8, 2016


by mongrel tailors
& stitched into a
forgiving city
fabric. They have
a hunting eye,
a disinterested sheath.
Their pubic hair stronger
than the cables that hold
up The Brooklyn Bridge.
Paris has it,
Rome has it,
in parts, we
have gowns & red canvas
hightops, syncopation
& sycophants, red hair,
and green hair, and purple,
and blue; no hair & bristles;
a Gershwin sycophants,
a black and white romance
next to a Sid & Nancy
blood splotched Chelsea bed.
Donegal tweeds & Irish weaves,
Jewish prayers & Baptist hollers,
lipstick and scars and ankles
twisting inside knee socks
of high school starlets;
they marry Freud & Lacan,
fashion & tease into passion
& play.
This goddamn be-bop do-wop city
birthed The Drifters & The Voice,
brought Ginsberg into Whitman's grave, gave Dylan
refuge, laid down the line for Crane,
tripped Pollock into paint, bought Dizzy a horn,
gave every faggot with rhythm and style and form
a form to fit it around and places to drink & find release,
gave black folks a country within a country and fomented alchemy secretive;
this city drips into you;
this city lets you be beautiful and brilliant and, finally, insecure.
This is Robert Johnson's crossroads;
this is where the devil makes deals;
this is the old Murderer's Row;
these are the skyscrapers taking your eyes off the streets;
this is danger,
this is delicious;
there is the hoop
and the ball
does not lie.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2016

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