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Poem – Single Room Occupancy on 86th Street (1992) by Jade Blackmore May 28, 2018

Posted by vscorpiozine in 1990s, city poems, Jade Blackmore, New York, Veteran Poets.
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The exclusive address would make people jealous
If they saw it on an envelope
And never actually visited me.
I could walk to Central Park or the Metropolitan Museum
But three people could barely fit in my room.

Every week, I went downstairs to Beethoven Pianos on the first floor and paid the store manager my rent in cash.
Another tenant, a cute blonde boy with a limp
Always hung out in the showroom.
We’d get Pepsi together from the soda machine
And dawdle by the pianos till a customer walked in.

The Grande Dame of the SRO, an artist who lived in the room next-door to me, always wore pastel maxi-dresses and walked around the hall followed by her cat.
She’d been there six years.
She was between apartments waiting for an inheritance, she said.

I’d eat fishcakes and spaghetti on Friday
At the diner next door, and
Listen to the tubby telemarketing pros
Discuss their prospects

Tourists from Germany,
Students on summer internships,
and party kids
Slammed doors
And padded in and out of the shared bathrooms
In slippers or rubber sandals,
Faces blurred,
Suitcases bumping down stairs
Every month or two.

I walked down Lexington with a Black and white TV in a box
Hailed a cab in the rain,
And reconfigured the TV in a bigger box,
With clothes stuffed in a dresser and in the drawers under a twin bed,
Half the floor crowded with a computer, printer and answering machine.

I’d wash my hair in the sink in the morning.
The window open to the courtyard,
birds chirping, cabs honking, children playing,
Then scurry downstairs
and buy a bagel and coffee from a cart on the street.
I’d start breakfast on the subway to midtown
and finish it at my desk.

Fell asleep with the Boombox turned low
after exploring Manhattan after dark
With friends.
Woke up and did it over again.

No snotty roommates,
Or screwed-up boyfriends.
No upstairs neighbors throwing used kitty litter out the window.
Sometimes freedom is better than space.










Poem by Jade Blackmore – The Hospital Roommate March 4, 2018

Posted by vscorpiozine in 1970s, baby boomers, Jade Blackmore, Veteran Poets.
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I was 15 when my appendix was removed,
the old-fashioned way, with a scalpel and incision.
As they wheeled me back from surgery.
The pediatric hospital ward overflowed
And they wheeled patients two or three to a room
The little boy holding a red balloon,
The blonde girl with a bandaged forehead,
The freckled star quarterback on crutches.

Easter baskets lined the reception desk
In a failed attempt to make the kids
Forget where they were.
The fluorescent lights flickered on and off
Above slippery white linoleum.

Two nurses accompanied me to my room.
One nurse checked my blood pressure.
“You know, you’ll never be able to wear a bikini again,”
“No, no, they put the scar lower now”, the nurse rearranging the other side of the room corrected.
“That’s a relief,” I said, and my nurse chuckled.

An orderly wheeled in a strange-looking machine that looked like a small iron lung.
While the other nurse and a second orderly moved a bed to the other side of the room.“You have a new roommate.” The nurses said, and everyone left the room.

“Hi My names Claire,” A disembodied head with a pixie cut of sandy blonde hair and a pretty face emerged from the front end of the cylindrical machine. Her voice was outgoing, almost brash. We talked for awhile about the nurses, the bad food, David Bowie’s new album and neighborhoods how much we liked pizza. Her mother came in with a bottle of Coke with a straw in it, and Claire sipped some of the drink.

“Why are you here?” Claire asked me.
“Had my appendix out. And you?”
“She has some problems with her spine,” her mother said,
The rapid fire timbre of her voice
rendering further interrogation moot.
“Mom, it’s okay,”
“Shush. It’s getting late.”
A nurse came in and shut off the lights.

I drifted off to sleep and heard the girl weeping, “I don’t want to go through this again. Not another operation!”

Years later, I temped at a health agency for dialysis patients
And they sent me an errand to a nearby hospital.
I walked into a gymnasium-sized room
And made my way a circular desk in
The middle of a hundred cots
With bodies covered by sheets,
Some faces barely alive, some
Worse than any horror movie
The blinking of digital screens,
Complemented by cold plastic and knobs
Assaulted the sterile walls.
I stepped up to the desk.
The nurse looked up from her copy of People and I gave her a bubble-padded envelope filled with vials of blood

And as I left the room
I thought of the girl in the machine
In the hospital room all those years ago.
I hope she is taking her kids
To the supermarket or
Sitting in the audience of a Broadway play
or enjoying the ocean breeze at the beach,
free and whole.

Poem by Jade Blackmore – The Past, Five Times Removed February 21, 2018

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She wanted to visit her grandmother’s old house
But the cherry tree by the bedroom window
Was replaced by pale brown dirt and
Subway wrappers,
The front door was boarded up,
The lattice railing where she climbed with her brothers
Long gone.

There was a robbery in the cell phone store
Where the video place used to be.
Parolees in fencing masks
Shot the teenager behind the counter.
There was a beheading behind the church
Where she had her first communion.
The body buried in the backyard
Where the lady who made Barbie doll clothes lived
Until she moved to Arizona.

The library where she once checked out opera records and Beatles albums
Once bustling with schoolchildren sneaking in candy bars,
Now smells of stale cigarettes and urine
As homeless men sleep in chairs scratched with gang graffiti.

The factories turned into lofts,
The Gothic stone
The greasy spoons
Are gone.
Long, leisurely
Post-drunk nights
In another century.

The dark, cloistered building
That housed her first job
Out of high school is
Now bright and airy
And filled
With floor to ceiling
And offices
Without old ladies
Or the clacking of typewriters,
Only the morphing sparseness of the present.

Times will change
The world will bend to the whims of
Rich criminals and poor thugs.
Everyone in between doesn’t matter much.
The world doesn’t care about her memories
So she keeps them close
It is all she has.



Poem by Jade Blackmore – The Morning After Dream January 21, 2018

Posted by vscorpiozine in Jade Blackmore, poems, poetry, Veteran Poets.
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The Morning After Dream

I had a dream where I was an assistant to
An ethereal, tortured soul
And I could not keep up with him.
He ran off in the middle of the street
And sat in the back seat of his dealer’s car
Smoking a joint.
I tried to get him to leave
But he reeled me in.
For a minute I was right there with him,
Cocooned into his world
How could any other dream
Be as enticing
Correct, or comfortable?

When the smoke cleared, he was gone,
And I returned to an apartment with brick and lumber bookcases,
Cats and quirky roommates.
Brooklyn before and after L.A.

Just another cliche,
A generation collapsed
Under the weight of its arrogant joie de vivre.

Now the sky is colorless
Because it is better,
They tell us now,
To be safe and erudite.
And the clothes are thin and disposable,
So are the people,
The fame.
The truth
is a malleable concept,
You create it from scratch,
You make it into
Your own image.

A phone buzzed as the dream
The text read,
“Will you come backstage and see him?
He likes you
And wants you to stay,
to work.”

But when I got there,
The theater was an empty shell,
Stripped of ceremony,
Smokeless and silent.
The world had moved on.

Poem- Gentrification by Jade Blackmore January 5, 2018

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 Livable but slippery
Once red brick villains,
Now a horde of liars.
Vinegar tears from the old guard.
A concrete asp left over
from maladaptive days.

Protests fall on deaf ears,
A broken, lingering fear.
The mundane tapestry of day-to-day life
Shocked into submission by
The din of construction cranes
a permanently vacant building
Only the rats and spiders see their paper-thin but sustainable walls.

Laws were broken, then changed with the customary sleight-of-hand.
The lights go out
At the gymnasium where a one-eyed millionaire from the Valley
Tells bartenders and store clerks
How another luxury building will benefit them.
Homeless men raid the snack table
Then go down the street to sleep in front of the
Picture window
Framing a brand new, cobwebbed lobby.


Poem – Shinier Objects by Jade Blackmore December 7, 2017

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Shinier Objects

Cool and hip.
loud and obnoxious.
obscure, snarky and intellectual.
Academic and narcissistic.
And lacking in all protocol.
Edgy and underground,
Art fuck-y and self-absorbed.
Mix and match the adjectives with
Decades of faces and nothingness.
A parade of sculptures
With no discernible filling.

But tucked away in the corner
or maybe a few someones
forged a steady presence,
now neglected
for the wrong reasons,
for shinier objects
with nothing to offer except
eventual crash
and splatter.

They’re gone,
because like
they were too
pure for
you or
the barren, angry blur
the world has become.

They still exist somewhere
in a sliver of time and comfort
Back inside a cocoon
and unable
to defeat the
patina of lies.


Poem by Jade Blackmore – The Same October 22, 2017

Posted by vscorpiozine in Jade Blackmore, Los Angeles, poems, poetry, Veteran Poets.
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the same

the wreckage of a generation.
the good ones die early,
the evil ones fall like a house of cards,
the mediocre simmer and fade
to leave room
for the next generation
to perform
their version
of the same.

Megalomaniac – Poem by Jade Blackmore July 30, 2017

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Everyone else is a laughingstock,
Buoyed by the clutter of a premiere page.
Caffeine boost, internet drone.
A human statue, so cryptic and cold-blooded
More exalted than
A dead comrade
Or new girls and their selfies.
So untouchable
In her salty square corner of the world.

Raising the Bar – Poem by Jade Blackmore July 29, 2017

Posted by vscorpiozine in Jade Blackmore, poems, poetry, Veteran Poets.
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Raising the Bar

The ruins of a never-ending last call.
65 going on 19,
a frat-boy with too-thick eyebrows,
a woman with a shattered glass meth voice
Everything is free and easy
Or it’s not worth the effort.

The survivor realizes too late,
but drives away
from the long black expanse
of wasted years
toward reinvention.

Poem – Down the Rabbit Hole by Jade Blackmore February 17, 2016

Posted by vscorpiozine in city poems, Jade Blackmore, Uncategorized.
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She walks through the hippest cemetery in America at midnight.
(More beer bottles, fewer bouquets)
“Your boyfriend must be hard to live with,” her heroin addict companion observes,before arguing with the burly security guard at the front gate.
There’s no time to wonder how she got here,
And even less time to get out.