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Poem by Jade Blackmore – Midtown Manhattan, Herald Square, 1989 October 28, 2020

Posted by vscorpiozine in 1980s, city poems, New York, poems, poetry, Veteran Poets.
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1989 Midtown Manhattan

“Sign the Petition!!” The woman’s shrill voice echoes from outside the Chase Manhattan Bank on 34th Street. She walks back and forth holding a sign with a photo of a banned magazine cover with a meat grinder on it. Moms with baby strollers maneuver close to the curb to avoid her. Balding men in three-piece suits duck into revolving doors, and skateboard kids sail past, suppressing laughter till they’re clearly out of her view.

You walk into the deli, baggy-eyed and askew from being jostled on then train. The Bodega cat in the stockroom eats noodles from Chinese takeout container. You buy a raisin bagel and coffee

Even listening to Howard Stern on your Walkman doesn’t drown out the woman in a square-shoulder power suit standing behind you as she complains about how slowly the line is moving.

A punk rock girl with platinum strands (shades of Nancy Spungen) struggles with her umbrella as she passes a Hasidic Jew in a phone booth.

The streets whip up a mist of soot and sweat.
Oblivious,
the hot dog cart vendor sets up early
The old hippie dude selling used LPs,
knock-off Chanel bags and paperback books with covers torn off  from a folding table by Tad’s Steaks does brisk business.

The girls in bulky sweaters watch the marathon from a fire escape. Toothy smiles and subway murder headlines blare from the front page of the Post
As you turn the corner to go to your job pasting up ads for January’s edition of Teddy Bear Revue,

Spending the morning stuffed into a corner office filled with half-empty glue bottles, photos, photocopies of photos and a pot of Folger’s coffee. 

Man in a Santa suit walks out of the subway station into PJ Carneys for a highball. The Brooklyn girls get their nails done after-work, tangerine glow, key lime green, or passionate pink.
The manicurists wear light blue face masks and hand customers index cards with prices scrawled on them,
And talk to each other in Mandarin Chinese.

5:35 p.m. You exchange good nights with your co-workers through gritted teeth and speed walk pass Sbarro’s, Strawberry’s, and the Empire Stare Building. The lady with the poster still wails, more adamant than ever. Shoppers steer their children into Macy’s and office workers scurry like starved rats into the subway station.

Sometimes, it’s hard to believe
You were part of this hodge-podge
Cause the present is so static
and unassailably boring.

Leaf blowers wane in the background,
Replaced by a screen door opening and closing – then silence.
A screen, a book, a reset, then- nothing.

You dream of going back for just a minute
To be absorbed into the trivialities
of a forgotten world, before the rise of the  automatons,
before truth scattered into a thousand different pieces.  

Poem by Jade Blackmore- The Christmas Tree, 1999, Park Slope December 31, 2019

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Two girls carry a Christmas tree from the Seventh Avenue lot,
Scotch pine needles littering the sidewalk
As they maneuver it home.

Young Moms pass by with baby strollers,
Their children bundled in faux fur jakets
Young lesbian couples with blue and pink hair
Canoodle on the way to the indie bookstore.
The Hasidic Jews smile and nod,
The bearded professors ignore them,
The cigar-smoking Teamsters walking out of the dive bar
Leer and ask if they need help.

The roommates veer across their trash strewn front lawn,
as their neighbor holds open the fraying wood-lined  double glass doors.
The tree dodges narrow hallways and jutting bookcases as the girls hit their mark-
a pedestal in the corner of the spare room.

They cram the noble pine with 99 cent store garlands and ornaments
Except for the obligatory carved woodblock Santa from the local craft market
That cost more than all the other decorations combined.

The tree, you know, it’s sort of there,
With no children or significant others to enjoy it.
It shields no whimsically wrapped presents
Or puppies in Santa hats.

It’s a backdrop for a photoshoot.
The blonde girl wears a Marilyn Manson Satanic Army sweatshirt,
poses with a giggle
and a glass of champagne
It’ s all so very end of the millennium.

The branches shed after New Years’, needles on the hardwood floor.
Cheap glitter ornaments shed tears.
The tree is finally trussed up on the curb,
Nearly naked,
In the middle of January,
The wood block Santa plucked off at the last minute.
Battered branches share a mud puddle
with a few Juicy Fruit wrappers
and a rusty pocket knife.

 

 

 

 

 

Poem by Jade Blackmore – Poetry Reading, East Village, 1990 September 18, 2019

Posted by vscorpiozine in 1990s, Jade Blackmore, New York, poems, romantic poems, romantic poetry, Veteran Poets.
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He dreamed of long legs,
intertwined with his.
A Cherokee priestess
in fringed suede,
fresh from the hide,
so fresh it still dripped blood.
And he wished for big brown eyes.
He dreamed of a madwoman
He dreamed too hard.

She read a poem
about the desert,
about skin and chains
and hookah pipes.
He stood in the back of the room
in cowboys boots.
He wore a stone amulet
on a chain around his neck.
She wore skull and hatchet earrings.
He wouldn’t have looked twice
if he’d seen her on the street.
He sees her clearly in a smoke-filled room
with the crash of beer bottles.
She smiled like an ingenue
but wrote like a white witch.
He fancied himself a writer
but her words made her feel like a dilettante.
His eyes made her feel
like a long-limbed Vogue model,
but his aura,
all black from hair to boots,
like a misfit with a ponytail
in the third grade,
and he was the cutest boy on the playground.

He touched her wrist,
as she put her poems into her backpack.
“You’re a witch,” he said.
His amulet brushed across her wrist vein.
“And you’re a shaman”, she said.

He bought her peppermint tea,
and she taught him about madwomen of the 18th century,
and he taught her about imitating Kerouac in the south of England.
They walked to her apartment above the biker bar
to consummate a beautiful lie.

A scattered night
transforming  mortals into magic, and
then back again.

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poems by B.Z. Niditch – In Manhattan 1990 and New York City 1999 May 8, 2016

Posted by vscorpiozine in 1990s, BZ Niditch, city poems, New York, poems, poetry, Veteran Poets.
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IN MANHATTAN 1990

Anti-romantic
Andy Warhol
a passion to the lost,
I’m on a sleeper car
the ex-camera rolls
for we underground Beats
are giving our readings
on street corners,
with a lost Anna Karina photo
when married to Godard
we find at the Chelsea,
I buy a lunch poem
from Frank O’Hara
at the Cedar Bar,
here is
cheap vodka in draws
as time lapses
in my synapses
of taboo tripping,
after Andy demanded
to be electrically shaved
for the boy next door
carrying an imbibed state
for an extra in “Flesh”
needing a prescription
for a drug free America
losing a nude display
of Gordon Parks’ sequences
after getting the “Shaft”
on the way meeting Lana
a transvestite
who asked me for a light
and turned herself into
a bulbous yet
nosey chaperon
asking me to do
her laundry
of lace aprons,slips,dresses
of silk, Egyptian cotton,
and chancy things
drifting in the wash
in bathed bleach
of celestial swimsuits
from Esther Williams’
Technicolor sets
swirling shirts and blouses
lifted things from Macy’s
from a drawn basket
in shiny scents of lystoil.

 

NEW YORK CITY 1999

With the romantic
gone
here in the French
underground
once again
playing jazz
to a melody of Mahler
and Rameau
before a French mirror
doubled up
for Mallarme,
the wind
has Paris icicles
for us
in the restaurant
we murder croissants
by the portmanteau movies
of Spanish refugees
seeing bridal angels
of Chagall and Picasso
of our passing.

 

BIO:

B.Z. NIDITCH is a poet, playwright, fiction writer and teacher.

His work is widely published in journals and magazines throughout the world, including:    Columbia: A Magazine of Poetry and ArtThe Literary ReviewDenver QuarterlyHawaii ReviewLe Guepard (France); Kadmos (France); Prism InternationalJejune (Czech Republic); Leopold Bloom (Budapest);  Antioch Review; and Prairie Schooner, among others.

He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Bill Murray Leads Poets Across the Brookyn Bridge June 15, 2015

Posted by vscorpiozine in Bill Murray, Brooklyn, Celebrities & Actors Read Famous Poems, New York, poetry, poetry events.
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Bill Murray Leads Poets Across the Brooklyn Bridge

For the 20th annual Poets House Brooklyn Bridge Poetry Walk.

Poem – In New York City by B.Z. Niditch January 11, 2015

Posted by vscorpiozine in B.Z. Niditch, city poems, New York, Veteran Poets.
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IN NEW YORK CITY 
Night corners me
by the Savoy
in my original shadow
like a somnambulist
wanting to wrestle
in the snow
shivering in half light
outside the marquee
of “Midnight Cowboy”
bed clothed in leather
with a balanced sadness
heading slowly
for Greenwich Village time
with a new horoscope.
***
B.Z. NIDITCH is a poet, playwright, fiction writer and teacher.His work is widely published in journals and magazines throughout the world, including:Columbia: A Magazine of Poetry and Art; The Literary Review; Denver Quarterly; HawaiiReview; LeGuepard (France); Kadmos (France); Prism International; Jejune (Czech Republic); Leopold Bloom (Budapest);  Antioch Review; and Prairie Schooner, among others. His latest poetry collections are “Lorca at Sevilla”,”Captive Cities.”

He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.