Choosy Jews choose juicy shoes
To slushily shoe along to the zoo.
Their shiksas in rickshaws
Discuss what yesterday’s chic was
While popping the gum they gluingly chew.
Adam Green sells his magazine on the sidewalk
Next to a man’s outline drawn on with white chalk
While whores and hustlers taunt him with snide talk.
A speaker blasts “Free City Rhymes”
An ice truck in the street with electronic chimes
A beggar begging quarters, nickels, dimes
The people on the subway read The Times.
Beastie Boys besang the fallen towers
Concrete is cracked by little flowers
While Greenwich Village still the middle is
For artsy types and college kids
Where only Washington is square
Their arms are sleeved, their soles are bare.
A man shooting up in the eyeball
Remembers he once caught a fly ball
Where spaldeens bounced off of brownstone stoops
Arose the cheers from girls with hula-hoops
Spinning around in swirling whirls
With the calm of a copper’s spoon in the cup he stirs.
Pooches lead their owners through parks marooned
From baby boomers’ pecks and smooches babies bloomed.
No smoking, but pigeons everywhere, their karma nil
Discarded guns and pistols both rivers fill
With their barrels pounded flat to avoid
Any forensics inquisitive probing
At night the city’s lights alive
With their exquisite strobing.
Five bridges, five boroughs
Their people, their sorrows
A lot of graffiti on subway cars and walls
The constant wailing of ambulances’ siren calls
A hippie on grass with LSD flavor admiring
That in his favor the world is conspiring
According to one pan-galactic master plan
As if god above was this city’s biggest fan.
A panhandler handing you a map
A bummer giving you a rap
A drunk right there taking a nap
A street whore passing out the clap
A yellow cabbie flipping you the finger
ALL THESE IMPRESSIONS LINGER.
I wrote this poem in 2005/06 when in was living in Freiburg in southern Germany. It was illustrated by my friend Joel D. Poischen and featured in the exhibition Global Generation, a project of “Artoholics e.V.” in June 2008 in Freiburg.