Daily Archives: February 20, 2003

The Off-Season

When I was going to school in Boston, one of the adventures I experienced was rehearsing and then playing a gig with the Bloodfarmers in NYC (actually, it was an “Acid Core Festival” held in October of 1991 at the Coney Island Freak Museum). I was just thinking about it today, and came up with this poem.

I’ve never been to Coney Island in the summer,
only just after the season ended, early October,
after the buskers and merchants have boarded
up their windows, or wandered off to warmer climes.

It must be much different there in June or July,
the boardwalk crowded with noise and life,
sun shining off the fine grained beach sand
and the smell of hot dogs wafting on the breeze.

At three in the morning, though, it’s probably the same
as how I saw it, playing a gig at the Freak Museum
for a crowd of no more than fifteen hardy souls
who risked the five dollar admission to experience

four bands who almost were Black Sabbath:
paint peeling from gaudy, clownish decorations,
the smell of grease and old wood and salt air,
a lingering feeling of emptiness, of desolation,

of sad despair; it might be different before Labor Day,
but there are some times when the sea
is a lonely place, and all the tinsel and light
along the shore cannot change its somber mood.

20 FEB 2003

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Life Beyond the Tunnel

I want to tell you there is whole new world
beyond the concrete labyrinth that walls
in what you know; the snaking paths that curl
you so tightly in their grip as night falls,

keeping you safe and secure in your home,
where you can isolate your life from strange
sights, from mystic visions, and never roam
more than a few steps out of your warm cage.

Yes, there is life past the Holland tunnel
(no, the world doesn’t stop with the city),
but you must brave a few steps in the dark

and force your grand notions through this funnel,
learn to appreciate the rubes you pity,
and trade in your bright lights for lonely sparks.

20 FEB 2003

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A Few Lines Composed Nowhere Near an Abbey

There is a Mary every few doors down
the block; in a small creche under the trees
or tight up against the house, overgrown
with wire grass or chicory to her knees
of cheap cast plaster, whiter than bleached bone.

Each looks so forlorn and abandoned there,
with great sorrow on her beseeching face,
watching the seasons pass under her stare
and silently yearning to leave her place,
to speak out, to travel again, somewhere.

20 FEB 2003

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