A man is talking to himself again.
He strolls down Broadway in the rain.
He’s hidden in a slicker, so he’s yellow, obvious.
A rainy day on Broadway looks like Auschwitz, more or less.
He has a fancy accent so he isn’t Jewish, is he?
He walks down Piccadilly, more or less.
Not exactly talking to himself, more like quiet shouting.
He’s a hotdog wearing yellow mustard spouting
A fancy accent but he isn’t English.
In fact, he’d sink England in the North Atlantic with relish.
Down to Eighty-second Street and back each day,
Ten blocks or sometimes more each way.
Like waking from a dream and you realize you’re shouting.
But you’re happy and you’re walking.
I’m quite aware I’m making faces.
I’ll look good in my black chalk-stripe suit,
Savile Row astride a red Ducati racer
For a fashion magazine, a fancy joke
Done morbidly, my tongue sticking out like I’m dead.
What if they remove my tongue from my head?
Talking, talking, talking, at my desk, in silence,
Putting my head in the open mouth of my MacBook Air.
Being alive is served to the keyboard raw or rare.
The poem eats anything, doesn’t care.
I sing of Obama’s graying second-term hair.
It’s me—I’m talking to myself again.
I’m walking down to Eighty-second Street
To Barnes & Noble to buy my own book. Blue sky. Summer day.
The Broadway center strip of bushy trees
Is a green fluorescence in the summer breeze.
Let the homeless pick through the trash—
It’s a heavenly day in heaven nonetheless!
I find filth to eat and I beg—
And pretend I’m the Shah of Iran.
Anything but I mean anything to sing you a Broadway song!
I’m talking on my cell to Galassi on his—
We’re lepidoptera fluttering our way to a matinée at the opera.
It’s a drastic new Don Giovanni.
An absolute swine gloriously sings to his harem of flowers for hours
And asks, Who has a more beautiful name than Mitzi Angel?
We dine, sipping flowers and wine.
Winged butterflies of refinement, each on an assignment.
Galassi’s is to inhale Montale and Leopardi
And cross-pollinate the language of the tribe.
Mine’s harder to describe.
This article is available to subscribers only.
Please choose from one of the options below to access this article:
Purchase a print subscription (20 issues per year) and also receive online access to all articles published within the last five years.
Purchase an Online Edition subscription and receive full access to all articles published by the Review since 1963.
Purchase a trial Online Edition subscription and receive unlimited access for one week to all the content on nybooks.com.