Thursday, November 20, 2014

poem of the day 11.20.14

entertainment capital of the world

two black kids on the train
slap box up and down the car in real-time
not this simulated video game action bullshit

the white people let their jaws drop
like white people are supposed to do in these moments

they take out their cell phones
to take pictures of the two boys in action
suddenly becoming rogue photographers behind enemy lines

all so that they can post the images online
before we even hit the next stop

so that their other white friends can post messages

kids these days
that’s why i live in the suburbs

so that their racists friends can write

f***n n*****s
with all of the asterisks in the right places

but it’s when one of the black kids closes his fist
and roundhouses the other one that shit gets real tonight

then the blows and kicks come
the falling into the good people’s laps
cell phones getting jostled and pictures blurry

online friends writing

what is that?
where are you?

the two black kids in a huddled mass
on a dirty train car floor that has caked trails of coffee
and candy wrappers littered about

their girlfriends clutching barbecue chip bags
screaming and shouting

no one here can tell if it’s cheering or not
one of the ace photographers turns to me and asks
is this for real?

but i don’t answer her

i just crank up the dylan
bob singing about rubin carter in oh-so-long-ago new jersey

and as the two boys roll off each other
kick at each other like a couple of violent cripples
thrown from their wheelchairs

i think about all of those people who’ve asked me
why i haven’t left new york city

i think maybe it’s because i’d miss the action
or i’ve just gotten too old and have run out of places to go

the prospect of lying to another employer
in another dirty city
telling them how much i want to work for them
when i’ve never wanted to work for anyone
seems too much the hassle at my age

maybe because new york city is still
the entertainment capital of the world

this train as alive as the neon lights tonight on broadway

and we’re all just waiting on these two black kids
to kill or kiss each other

shit or get off the pot

as the legs keep flailing to cell phone clicks
dylan sings to me about burning cities and injustice

while i watch a mexican day laborer
taking it all in with one eye open and the other closed

getting up the nerve
to do another hard eight

freezing his ass off on 18th avenue

in a country that keeps trying to kick him out
slaving for the city that never sleeps

for the beautiful violence in a moment like this

carrying us home
to alcohol and conversations

another mediocre dusk
turning itself over
into another cracked and hopeless dawn.


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