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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