I’ve always had a connection to NYC,
Back in the day
I was a Willie Randolph guy,
Mickey Rivers, and Reggie Jackson,
Come on…
There was Louisiana Lightning at Catfish,
Yes, I liked the Yankees back then.
But it didn’t stop there,
MSG and the Big East, St. Johns my team’s nemesis,
Hoyas, baby!!!
Still, New York brought it, gave us Dr. J,
Paid for part of my freshmen year of college,
Thanks, LT, had me thinking internships in dinner theaters,
And the most overlooked movie in cinematic awards history,

The Warriors.

You could say that I was obsessed with New York,
Making my first trip there in ’85,
Hitting a Rangers game, my only time to the Mecca of Basketball,
The first time dealing with scalpers and being offered drugs
Right there on the street.
My first time riding the subway, falling asleep on the subway,
Buying vintage clothes in the Village,
Which my friends said was rough, but cool.
What’d I know, it was my first time,
And I loved it, the cavernous nature, the bustle, the smells,
I loved it all,
Except for the Mets,
Not that there weren’t players that I liked,
But I was a closet Phillies fan and sort of Yankees fan.

Never the Mets.

So let’s see,
Tom Seaver, I remember him best as a Red,
Nolan Ryan, I remember him best as an Astro
Mookie…there is a Met that I liked when he was a Met,
He was the fastest guy I had seen
When he showed us how to steal bases at ODU.
Dwight and Darryl, awesome players, tragic figures,
The crazy thing is that the Mets and Phillies had minor league teams
Very close to me,
Somehow Philly got into my soul,
And NYC remained a catch out of my league.
Now the City of Brotherly Love is all me, NYC nothing but a rival.
It’d be nice if the New York teams would up their game and get some more
Bernard King, HoJo, Harry Carson types.

BTW, Hockey doesn’t count.

f38

The kids were struggling,
Late 60s in the Bronx was rough.
Poverty, turf wars, a failing city, heroin,
Each something to steal youth from the young, so the kids
Stole, they rumbled, they vandalized, they shot up, and
Then they got caught.

The system called them malcontents,
Foresaw their futures as career criminals,
And using the force of the justice system
Called on these young men who lived in one failed system
To choose between two failing options
Provided by a system theoretically based on fairness.

Before the bench,
With officers of the court
Sworn to the protection of all within the confines of the law,
These young me were given the choice;
Jail or Vietnam.
Was there a rationale in this rehabilitation
Or was this just a flip of the correctional coin?

Should they have put them out there to kill,
So what if they get killed in the process, right?
Perhaps they should have been put in programs
That gave them the skills to survive the Bronx in those hardest of times.
Maybe the powerful sect in the five boroughs should have been better to their people.
Maybe America should have dropped dollars on opportunities at home,
Instead of bombs on the homes of Southeast Asia.

Justice…
Just saying…

{Courtesy of the NYT: 6/7/16}

nyc_transit_authority_gmc_tdh-5301_2151

Hot, the
Summer heat straining
To buckle roads,
Turning sweat to steam,
Leaving tensions frayed,
And homes too hot to stay in

The heat wave was even too much for the roaches
Who liked the linings of
Bus engine compartments
And the gentle roar
Around the muffler area.
Just not today…

The industructibles came out
Escaping the exhaust and combustion
To the nearly as uncomfortable cabin
Where frightened riders of the 104
Panicked on Broadway
As the creepy crawlers acted out a horror movie scene.

The filthy seekers of coolness
Poured from the bus’s crevices
With little care for the hoards of screaming people
Or the constant ringing of the bell
Due to the incessant pulling of the chain
Which one dude thought this whole thing must have been.

The 104 stopped
And for once, the people of New York City
Gave up their seats.
With new passes in hand,
The grossed out travelers waited
The next bus.

To their surprise
The newly arriving passengers fled
With the same life preserving abdandonment
That they had displayed
As the new bus was quickly filling
With hearty insects looking for cool air.

The Transit Authority blamed spilled food,
Letting the public know
Roaches liked buses as much as Park Avenue kitchens.
The roaches waited the heat out then went back to the dark places
Where they laid more eggs.
It was rumored many people started walking…

 

Photo Credit: By AEMoreira042281 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons