New York at

New York

New York

written by: John Lopes



Your avenues sweat subterranean blues,
tenor men dressed in Friday night’s best
tweed jazz ensemble hues blow worship
notes repeated in study
behind closed Bronx doors.

New York, your stray cats crawl iron fire escapes
catching modal staircase saxophone stunts
trapeze from window sills towards dancing roofs,
dropping staff lines from their edges
pulling us up before orange sunrise,
before yellow cab Manhattan madness
the rush hour stomping hordes
rush hour bone crushing metro.

Gather Central Park sparrows,
Little Italy gumption,
bronze skin Little India,
your Chelsea boys,
Harlem survivors,
crush them into powered pigment
into the pestle and mortar crown of Lady Liberty,
and paint your Hudson a new flag color for every
immigrant song tied around her ring finger.

New York, split the levee of the East River
with the jaw breaking fist of broad chested
skyscraper building union men,
patch the gushing lip with azure blue
from above the shining empire state.

Swath in Irish green the rusted shivering beams
of your Brooklyn bridge to the edge of Blue-Note.
Manhattan, where saints once cried in brassy tenor
and fingers bled on black and white ivory keys.

Your Broadway artery sweats subterranean blues
to the foot of Potter Fields and whispers the names
of voiceless cadavers who can only speak in dandelions
amongst unmarked graves.

New York, my fingers are raw from climbing
your spine to study you from dawn rooftops.

My eyes still sting from your bright colors.

My ears still ring from your tenor jazz hues.



This piece has been previously published and presented here as a promotional piece as permitted by the Author and Publisher contract.

The piece referenced has been published in the collection titled “CLOCKWORK” in 2016 – ISBN-13: 978-0994240439

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