Alphabet City Soup

Alphabet City was a haven for Marxist poets Who still remembered Manifestos written in the sweat and tears Of workers who still had unions And still had voices and still had souls; Alphabet City was a village of Sentient beings who still looked within For the cosmic bangs of cosmic yins and yangs That intertwined…

Guatemalan Mother and Son On Their Way To Freedom

She watches the news, understanding what is happening at the American border, and yet she continues to pack his things. What other choice does she have? The last time the gangs came to the block, they brought the warning that on her son’s birthday he would be initiated or killed. A ten year old boy…

Alphabet City Blues… A Game of Pool

My friend Matt says let’s go to Julians Pool Hall and learn how to ………. Lets learn.  Matt says. What. I ask him?  How they do it? How they look a man in the eye, humble all over, and then how they say Come on want to play a game not for money of course…

Alphabet City Blues….. Being Saved From Sin

We kneel in Catholic Pews at Immaculate Conception on East 14th street, Between Avenue A and First Avenue Praying to a wooden Jesus On the cross……. Our clip-on ties, Plaid tails, hanging from our necks, Our penny loafers, pennies shining, on……. Deep Tagalog-accented priest blessing us with his Bible-words, trying to save us from our…

Alphabet City Blues…. First Kiss

First kiss Under Dojo’s  Japanese lanterns lighting up St. Mark’s Place, With Bangladeshi witnesses selling cheap fake fedora hats hanging from metal hooks. And punks  with green mohawks smoking joints cheering us on and ancient-polish grandmothers, yellow-stained teeth, smiling, and Brooklyn tourists, bomber jackets bulging, showing respect, for the Puerto Rican girl in my arms,…

Alphabet City Blues…. Sailing

We burnt the waters of the city with M80s exploding on the East River, soda can grenades popping off under the Alphabet City Sky….. Brownishboys  on New York streets, Caribbean and Filipino teens adrift in a city stained with graffiti tags and crack vials. sailed on boards, up to York Avenue down to South Street…

Alphabet City Blues Poetry Collection

Hanging They hung sneakers on telephone lines Between Avenue A and Loisada where you could  see countless pairs strung up like how they used to hang us brothers down South And in the shadows of all those deadmen shoes crawled skeletal-shadows always fiending for a fix As we surfed our skateboards through drugged-out-waves of our…

Alphabet City

We played skelsies on the sidewalk. We dunked basketballs in the bottom rung of the fire escape ladders. We sunbathed on Tar Beach. We rocked to Block Party Sound Systems. We were sent by our moms to the corner bodegas to pick out dried saltfish from out of cardboard boxes. We saw old Puerto Rican…