Three rats, Food Stamps, and the Opportunity of a Lifetime

I heard the little guys squealing through the night

What was I supposed to do

Nothing else I could do

I had to trap them

Get them out

I woke in the morning as I would any other

Dreading a certain task that

Lie in my certain future

However this was a task

I loathed

This is New York and I have a renter coming in later

So sometimes I just have to

Thrust each foot

One in front of the other

I peak around the corner to discover

Not one, or two

But three rats entangled in a sticky mess

A sweet concoction

A paste

Tieing mouths, feet, and bodies to the goo

They writhed, and gnawed, up and down

Breathing fast as they could

Little did I expect what I saw

But quickly I understood

It was a small family all stuck there

I have no soft spot for rats

But I did feel a bit queazy

And I do have a renter coming in this afternoon

So off they go

Somehow an article of ours had been entangled in the mess

So I slowly worked the chord out

While the rats writhed more and shouted

Their high pitched scream

This is not the city I had grown up to know

But here I am with gloved on

Trying to pull chords off rat family

Entangled on a board of sticky sweetness

Not quite sure how I got here

So I dispose of the rat family

Breathe slow

And return to my day

My wife wakes up

We talk about the rats

I was not excited about the conversation

But I had taken care of it

The next topic on our minds

Food Stamps

I never thought we were that bad off

But somehow

The rats, the rent, the life

It comes at a price

That we are just coming up a bit short of

So we talk briefly about opportunities to eat

To have more food

“Seems like we are perfect candidates”

“Yea” I respond

“I don’t see why not”

This is all to the setting of the biggest looming opportunity

We have ever had in our lives

We have dedicated our lives to our art

Somehow opportunities are sometimes presented

Rather than sought

So as I sit at the piano to rehearse

I realize

My life

Somehow

As weird and dysfunctional as it can be

Makes sense

Certainly Uncertain

We are not creatures of perfection
By nature
Or nurture
We are malleable in form
From start to finish
I struggle with my own imperfect humanity
Trying to make the best of what I have
Having not the best to give
Unmistakably mistaken
Poured just short of perfection
In times just the simple reflection
Lets me know
That I am imperfect
Certainly uncertain
For my known unknowns
Are what what make
Me
Remarkably
Human

Anomoly of Jackhammers

Eyes slap open

With the crack of the jackhammer

It’s 9 AM

Monday in the City

I rush over to close the small gap

In the window

The loud crash of shovels

Iron cast on asphalt

Giant machines with splendid

Saws, jacks, and hammers

Traffic held back

While the men hit the ground

With cement hammers

The window to the city

Has shown so much to me

It is a true story

Yet an untold anomaly

Of jackhammers

I grew up in the soft quiet fields on Indiana

Acquaint myself

To the new sounds

Of my surroundings

The Commodity of Space

Thank God for public transportation

This revelation

Is one of the finest gems

The beauty of the capital of the nation

We are able to move swiftly

Through station

Feet connected to floors

Cold and eternally soaked

To the floorboards of the railcars

A collective quiet continuum

Running from face to face

Some disinterested

Wearing discontent well on their face

Underneath the city

There is a currency of space

Being given and taken

Awarded and mistaken

The sole private goal

Of a seat on a reasonable Subway

Some would just rather pay

Because there is always the lingering

Unreasonable chance

That the cart is filled in advance

But we stagger on

With the commidty of space low

Take it slow

Get on the train

Pull away,

Go

Finitely Undivine

In hopes of doing good

Doing everything you should

Stood proper ready for arrival

But in between every single line

Stands the true test of mankind

Finitely undivine

Some poor fellow with bright light

Shines upon a small error

Eroded and undone

Your lips begin to tighten

As you realize you have failed

At this one chaps small finding

I strive for the perfection

Perfection as far as my detection

But there will always be

Other perspectives

That feel less connected

Intersected with our vision

Even though I do my best

With good will and intention

There is nothing that can prevent

This holier than thou

Intervention

Creaking of Dawn

At the creaking of dawn

Semis bustle through the Avenue

Men with covered faces

Lift heavy loads unto empty spaces

Filling slowly with goods for shipment

Equipment, papers, dies, casts

I sometimes wonder what is in the

Buildings just over the Ave.

So much mystery

Only 5 feet from me

Whether they are transporting toxic chemicals

The smells

Oh the smells

The streets outlined with built mounds

Of snow

Paths created from where the tires roll

I have this realization

That I really know so little about my neighborhood

My nation

And it all came to me

From my view

On Manhattan Avenue

The Orange Sky of Brooklyn

Sometimes the flow

Is easier

Or more clear

At least

It feels a little more

Like a hampster

Than a wretched beast

Feast on these times

When flow comes barreling in

In from the high sky

The noon hour

Or the late night

Capture and release

No hold

Please give back

Whatever it is you are leased

I have a quick smile on these

Days

When work feels more like play

I remembered the feeling

The feeling of rampant creativity

From the lows of procrastination

Stagnations now creates re-inflation

For the seed of creativity is not gone

It has hid for long

But Brooklyn

Lit with smoke high

I have found my breathe again

Amidst an organe sky

Cabbage and The Uncomfort of Life

I didn’t want to do it

I guess I kind of had to do it

Shit we do to make it through

Renting out half the space

The rat race isn’t even

Half way through

The smell of cabbage in the morning

Warning that the uncomfort of life

Is seeping through

It wild the way we hustle

People bustle

Plan for the next month

Once again feeling uncomfortable

But I guess in a city

Where rules are only enforced

Rather than exist

This small task I complete

To make it through the month

Cause if not I call it quits

And back on the road I’ll be

With only half my wits

I’m not running some grand hotel

Not even a bed and breakfast

Just trying to make time with no roomates pass

The hosting seemed to be the only option

In a city

Where the Attorney General

Might be hot for me

But I guess I’m damned if I do

Damned if I don’t

It’s New York City

The only answer I can not give

Is

I won’t

Unconscious Desiring; An Ode

Unconscious desiring

Subconscious manifesting

Hoping on some dream

Of breaking out of the cycle

Money in

Money out

Dinner bought

Rent Owed

I wish to make it out

Even to the middle class

But these days

Not even the middle class

Can pass

The boundary

Set up in our system

Of class

The city tells me there is no middle

Either you own

Or are owned

There is not much between

The filthy rich

And the much lesser known

Hustling makes you feel alright

But SOMETIMES

It just is not enough

To get you off the ground

For a bigger flight

So my ode is this

I’m not trying to hit it big

Or swig Courvoisier from the jar

I’m just trying to get by

With a little extra to put away

Living for today

So this is my ode

I have nothing more to say

Ring the Brownstones

“You do this every God damn time!”

Exclaimed the man

Hands half thrown in the air

While he ripped the door of the old van

Open

“Fucking Bullshit – that is what it is!”

His head full of dark hair slightly covered

With a Yankees hat

Strewn to the right

The short stout man

Flung the back door of the transport van

Wide open

Hoping to rip it from the hinges

Anger, rage, discontent, dismayed

His voice rang up through the brownstones

Like a choral chamber in a church

He disappeared into the van

Throwing out both one more explicative

Cargo equipment

His friend walked drooped at the shoulders

Slowly recovering the bulls rage thrown

“I’ll tell them what I am going to do”

I wipe my eyes for the first time

It is 7 AM on Manhattan Ave.

This is not unusual

But rather more intense than not

I pull my face close to the glass

Feeling the winter cold briefly pass

My nose

Must be cold out there I think

Unfortunate soul

Throwing out the kitchen sink

But all on a good Tuesday morning in Brooklyn

Now

Back to work