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Poetry and Music by Mike Marcellino

Alphabet Coffeehouse
Flatbush
Alexander’s Strings



 

Alphabet Coffeehouse

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Mike on the East River in Williamsburg by Mike Marcellino
Mike on the East River in Williamsburg

Alphabet Coffeehouse,
“Where can it be?”
Wandering streets,
A to Z
the East Side,
New York City
aimlessly,
late afternoon, after a show.
Red, white and blue
chipped, cracked letteres
no name circle concrete park,
bed of violet flowers
in the middle,
back lit
crimson eyed Susan’s
no name circle concrete park.

Alphabet Coffeehouse,
“Where can it be?”
Sundown of existence,
A to Z
the East Side,
New York City,
10th and C.
Only a clue,                                                                                       
whisper,
unknown friend, fellow traveler
searchin’ for
Alphabet Coffeehouse
9th and C,
‘round the corner from Banjo Jim’s.

“It’s nothing,” the young man replied,
aimlessly.
“Everything is nothing here,” he said again,
“Nothing.”
 
Alphabet Coffeehouse
“Where can it be?”
A to Z,
red, white and blue
no name circle concrete park,
flag pole,
no colors up.

“Everything is nothing here,”
echoed across
the East Side,
New York City
middle a projects
brick, white window sills
houses of thirteen stories.

Jump rope,
rapping voices,
rollerblades,
bikes ,
black and brown
German Sheppard
walkin'
over a freeway
crooked overpass
bottom of 10th
East River Park.
Softball diamonds,
a dog like Sally with her master,
cars speeding, either way.

Banjo Jim’s open.
“Listen,”
the LA country girl sings,
Rebecca Turner,
no cover.

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Flatbush

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Strawberry Fields, Central Park, NYC  by Mike Marcellino
Strawberry Fields, Central Park, NYC

Flew into New York
on wings of Peter Pan.
Flew into New York
on wings of Babylon.
A perfect trip, eleven minutes late.
Coastal Jersey the same,
belchin’ chemicals and oil -
industrial desolation
in the boot of this deep down.

Flew into New York
on wings of Peter Pan.
Flew into New York
on wings of Babylon.
On the heels of Jupiter,
not a bad act to follow.
On the right a
Santa Anna’s banner,
lighter green an' red,
white tricolor
blazoned to the fire escape
of a third floor, dirty red brick
tenement, a place West Indians
call Flatbush.
Perfect spot for Jimmy Cliff.
Mariachi band fills the air
Saturdays.

Flew into New York
on wings of Peter Pan.
Flew into New York
on wings of Babylon.
Soft good mornings in English,
more likely Patois
darkened skins
standin' outside temples
ol' ladies an' gentlemen
takin’ numbers for dinner
in a church
outside
a redemption,
after
a revolution
into
a resurrection.

Flew into New York
on wings of Peter Pan.
Flew into New York
on wings of Babylon.
Walkin' on graves
a Seventeenth Century soldiers'
stones worn blank
in this once 'Vlacke bos'
Dutch land flat plain.
Flew into New York
on wings of Peter Pan.
Flew into New York
on wings of Babylon.
Jupiter on the right now
not as bright,
on this clear an’ quiet night.

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Alexander’s Strings

This man from New York
and a boy, maybe his son,
run ‘round the silver spray fountain
in a postcard park
on a nameless November night. 

At the end of the A Train tunnel
i heard sounds of Alexander’s strings. 
His cap, not yellow or white, but Boston blue,
a gift after it flew off in a big city wind
trampled by waves
of yellow taxis in a sea of traffic
on the Avenue of the Americas at Waverly. 

Alexander, you see, served time in the Navy,
on a submarine.  Now he makes shrill sounds,
still far below, in a subway,
on his guitar with a steel middle finger
in the A Train tunnel to the C or D.
Up on the street in the village,
people spill out of a church at Saint Joseph’s. 
The trees appear evergreen.

This man from New York
And a boy, maybe his son,
run round the silver spray fountain
in a postcard park
on a nameless November night. 
At the end of the A Train tunnel
i heard sounds of Alexander’s strings. 

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