Archive | October, 2015

my life in greenwich village

31 Oct

I can’t remember what year
but I was about 18 or 20 years old
wanting to live
from my writing

 

Greenwich Village in
New York city
seemed the right place
to begin

 

I rented a room at
Greenwich Village Hotel
for less than
five dollars a day

 

I lived on the third floor
there was a bed, window over the bed
the lock on the window did not work
there was a very worn
desk and chair
no closet

 

the rest room area
was public
and down the hall
no privacy
. . . people staring
and me
rushing out as soon
as I was finished

 

I wrote mostly at night
it was hard to sleep
with noise from
residents

 

I suspect there was wine and liquor
flowing all day and all night
many residents
lived there, retired,
cashing their social security check
to pay rent and cheap can food

 

I was lonely
not wanting to meet anyone
there
being lonely can
cause enough pain to write
a steady stream of poetry

 

Night after night I wrote
poems I would later mail
to magazines
in hopes of publication
and payments for any amount
two dollars or more

I hoped
(even though it never happened)
my poems would become
best selling books
selling throughout
the world

 

During the days
I ate cheaply
a slice of pizza,
a small hamburger
or hotdog
usually for a dollar or two
for each meal

Things were cheaper then

 

it took little to live
my dreams were big
there would be
enough time
to reach my dreams

 

the dreams
are dusty now
sometimes I still
see them on a shelf

 

and time, time is running out

 

he never became famous

19 Oct

I knew him then

it was so many years ago
it was his first year of college

he talked
about writing poetry
and becoming famous

he was determined
to become famous
before 25 years old

in college he published his
first poetry book
his girlfriend paid for the printing
of a thousand copies

it sold well
I believe the title was
“when twilight begins”

he went on to publish
several other books
(maybe 12 or more)
and traveled to cities
where his books sold
and he autographed books
in bookstores —
(Waldenbooks, B. Dalton Booksellers,
Barnes and Noble, and Borders)

cash from his book sales
paid for airplane fare
a cheap motel
food
and entertaining
his fans at the end
of the days

he sold thousands of books
maybe even a hundred thousand
books and received fan mail daily

then his books stopped selling
like someone turned the
light switch off

discouraged
my friend went to work
at ford truck plant
and other places

and gave up writing poetry

from time to time
I talk with him
he gave up his dream
when his book sales declined

he says
“I never became famous”

he says
“maybe it’s for the best”

my friend continues to work
day after day
at a job he can barely
make himself go to

his dream of fame and fortune
is tucked away
never to be looked at again

I have very little to give today

16 Oct

it hurts that I
don’t have more to give

no extra time
no extra money
nothing they expect

but everything
they don’t want . . .
I can give a few minutes of time
but that’s not enough for them
I can give a couple of dollars
but that’s not enough for them

and who are “them”?
they are those
I meet daily who are in need
those who have known me for years

I’m sure they don’t understand
that what I was able to help with
then is not what I’m able to
help with now

I helped them
in the past so freely
they don’t understand
why things have changed

I still give what I can —
kind words, smiles
a sandwich, fries & drink
from the local café
but if you ask for more
I will help but

but not as much as I
once could

is it too late to pray?

14 Oct

this year
I had some medical problems
which I shared with some friends

there were kind words
but one friend thought
I may not make it

after I explained what
my doctor said
and what the diagnosis was,
he seemed to be without words

and after what seemed like
5 minutes of pure silence
he asked me,

is it too late
to pray for you?

i am chilling today, no work, just play

13 Oct

I took a basket of food
cheese, soft drinks,
bread, crackers, mustard
and went to the beach
to chill out

I let all concerns
drift into
the sky

smell the coffee

13 Oct

it is becoming more difficult
making it through the day
alone

smelling the coffee
in the morning takes my mind
off the list
that must be done
(or that will be put off
another day)

this day is starting out
down in the dumps
I am hoping I get the right
mixture of coffee
to spark my mind and body
into action

if the day gets too tough
or if my mind seems to
sing the blues too loudly
today
I will make a list of three
things to do
and I will expect no more
from myself

today, I write down
three things I will do
and nothing more

the first thing is to
smell the coffee
the second will be to
drink a cup
now I have to think of
the third thing to do today
to accomplish my goal
of doing three things

there is nothing special
about the brand of coffee
I drink
I buy what is on sale
at the grocery
or restaurant
or gasoline station

I never cared for coffee
when I was younger
I only drank it
to socialize

“do you want to meet at the
coffee shop” says a friend
calling me on the phone

of course, I say, I’d love to
let’s get together for coffee
can we meet at at McDonald’s?
their coffee is affordable
less than a buck with free refills
the last time I went to
a coffee shop it cost me $3.50
a cup

I am going to meet my friend now
for coffee
I feel better all ready

this will be the third
and final thing on my list
to do today

go easy

12 Oct

go easy
into your
next relationship
relax
enjoy it
don’t rush

if nothing more
than a friendship
happens
remember that a friend
is wonderful

a poet was born

12 Oct

I could never
write a poem
until
you entered
my life

at that
moment
a poet
was born

be careful with me

12 Oct

be careful
not to rearrange me
into your idea
of a perfect person

I have traits you don’t like
I know that

but what you consider bad
others may like

allow me to remain
the person
that I am

young girl waiting for a phone call

12 Oct

a young girl
sits beneath a tree
tracing a design
in the dirt
with her small finger

she looks into the sky
then across the field
and back into the sky again

thinking about soldier
she had been waiting for

until today

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