#17: Reasons to Try

Comes a time
In anyone’s life
When they need to know more
Than wrong or right

No borrowed reason
From a prophet’s quill
Performed as ritual
Expressed as will

Life can’t find me
In the anonymity
Of amnesia city
I become a body
Renting my memory
To clarify
Reasons to try

It’s for every marriage
That seemed sensible
Every neurosis
Non-negotiable
Every lover
Pining for a friend
Every dream come true
Better in pretend

Every poet
Silenced by shame
Every entertainer
Devoured by fame
Every illusion
Sustaining a believer
Every reality
Enslaving the dreamer

You can find me
In the virgin country
Known as memory
You were a suffragette
Renting my body
To clarify
Reasons to try

For every poor child
Hungry in a ghetto
Every jetsetter
Considering suicide in a chateau
Every practitioner
Seeking enlightenment
Every great mind
Stymied by entitlement

Every single mother
Working overtime
Every inmate
Consumed by a culture of crime
Every kind soul
Willing to give back
Every widow
Feeling the lack

Comes a time
In a person’s life
Comes a time
In a person’s life

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#16: Rapunzel

Well it was forty-five
Past midnight
The bouncers had just
Ended a fight
You materialize
In the stage-light
Sit at the piano
And plink That’s Life

I swear you appear to be
A mirage to me
Wearing an Arabian dress
And rosary beads
With a pink guitar pick
Between your teeth
Playing like falling rain
Patient certainty

Then you spit the pick
In the palm of your hand
And stride over
To the microphone stand
Tune the house guitar
Strum This Land is Your Land
Singing your own lyrics
About Afghanistan

1.Hey Rapunzel
Come down
From your tower
Return to me
At this witching hour
Sing to me
Your song of tender power
I need you

You sing like a volcano
Erupting honey
Lyrics raw
Concerning blood money
Your closing line
Eurydice can judge me
You put me in tune
With my heartbeat

Well I approach the stage
After your set
You’re like lightening up there
What can I expect?
I’m just a thin white man
You could see as a threat
But you’re convivially curious
All you want’s a drink and a friend

Well we talk until
Its thirty past three
You, the bartender, and me
A holy trinity
I ask for a date tomorrow
Please be free
Let’s talk forever about
Religion, death, and comedy

2. Hey Rapunzel
May I have
Your address?
I didn’t get your number
And I must confess
Without your voice
I am under duress
I need you

Well her eyes turned down
And she calmly explained
She lives in a tower
And can only descend for a stage
If there’s no stage
She evaporates
It was the bargain she made
To reverse her fate

I ask Fred the bartender
If he slipped us some LSD
He said come on now
I’m a man of dignity
She left her tip
Said I knew you wouldn’t believe me
I always get your admiration
I never have your sympathy

She doesn’t say goodbye
Just departs immediately
And I’m still fumbling for an apology
Not thinking expediently
I’m trailing her silhouette
Shouting please, wait for me
And when I get to the sidewalk
I only see the indifferent city

3. Hey Rapunzel
I built a stage
In the middle of Washington Square
And now the skaters can’t skate
Nor can the folkies and junkies
Congregate
Until you re-animate
I need you

She’s such a knockout talent
And she actually talked to me
But now she’s gone and I’m just staring
At this family of gutter leaves
Dancing and swirling
Then falling in the breeze
Performing for that moment
Before retiring for eternity

All these nights I search
But haven’t found her again
Walking uptown to down
From Silvana to the Bitter End
If I could have believed
Or made myself pretend
I know she was real
The prophesized amend

All the while dreaming
About us on a fire escape
Her hair between my fingers
Upon her back a starry cape
Then we hold each other close
And simply fly away
Above the bodies and the buildings
This city of love and hate


#15: The Part of Hope

Paralyzed
And the crosswalk sign
Is telling me to move

In this Balkanized
Corporate paradise
Consciousness is a fool

On my way
To a date
With the anxious apparatus
To plead my case
And amend my mistake
Of writing that ending
Tragic

Do you have an empty feeling?
Can you play the part of hope?
Was their dream worth believing?
When you already had a coat?

Satisfied
By a momentary high
After signing their contract

Unrecognized
Walking the Highline
Alias intact

We were running late
To a play
That was about our lives
We did not know ourselves
Everybody is somebody else
And I still love the way you
Survive

Do you have an empty feeling?
Can you play the part of hope?
Was their dream worth believing?
When you already had a coat


#14: The Truth About New York

Emotionally homeless
Drifting thru Central Park

Baseball bat in your guitar-case
Your lips on the tender dark

You were supposed to be
The new wave
Not another matchstick to save
In the world rock and roll made

They never
Told you
The truth
About New York
You never
Believe
The proof
About New York
You forget
What you never knew
Could be untrue
About New York

Ears turned toneless
By the Broadway jackhammer

The ashes of your new melody
Unceremoniously scattered

And you were supposed to be
A useful device
Sanctifying our vice
Inside candy lights

They never
Told you
The truth
About New York
You never
Believe
The proof
About New York
You forget
What you never knew
Could be true
About New York


#13: Endy Chavez

A poetry reading.


#12: Fashion Tips

On the boulevard of you
Hookers on the avenue
Prepare to rendezvous
With polite men
In suits

The prostis whisper in their ears
The truth they want to hear
About how fame’s
The sweetest souvenir

I am
Such a rebellious man
Can I sell you my smile

You are
A father’s perfect son
And your mother’s denial

When your dream becomes
The will to survive
You may ask
Who am I

When your hustling
Was for a glass of wine
You may ride
The midnight line

It was all for them
You pretend
All for them
All for them

On the boulevard of me
Hollywood is shooting a scene
Where the hero has an epiphany
About the perfection of virginity

The precision of the dialogue
Enriches the American heart
And encourages bastards
To lose themselves in art


#11: Universal Indifference

Hearts carved in ice
The flecks like rice
Fly in the pale light

Blown by fans
We understand
The composition of man

VIP
party
Your name on the list

To succeed
Courteously
In the race to exist

Universal Indifference (x2)
The grand inference
Universal

You want to know
How you go
From station to station

The velvet rope
On which you choke
Tastes better than hatred

The radical
Principals
To which we adhere

Yet the symphony
And pornography
Both disappear


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