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St. Adrian's, 1971

Saloon Squeezed between office buildings On lower Broadway Desolate and out of the way Faint neon sign marks the place For the downtown art scene. Poetry readings on Sunday afternoons Only the regulars show up Invited or not Some mount the stage and Recite a piece or two To scattered applause. The beat goes on Summer nights fly by No Sunday readings now It’s Saturday and it’s a different place. Crowd mingles Three deep at the bar A/C working on overtime while Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On plays Jazzy and soulful A monster hit To no one’s surprise. A hangout for anyone Bodies waiting to meet An Agent. Or maybe a Publisher. Or a Rep. Anybody. Somebody. Anyone know somebody important? Naw, this ain’t the place This is St. Adrian’s A place for Artists. Writers. Sculptors. Working class dreamers. Pretenders and losers. Wannabes. Lost children and Casual loners on the prowl. Carol, alone in a corner booth Glass of white wine in her hands On the rocks of course Smiles at everyone like a Mona Lisa. Jack Micheline Bronx’ original Beat Wrote River of Red Wine in ‘58 Manuscript under his arm Waits for someone To buy him a drink Elaine, beautiful in a peasant blouse Scent of musk oil like a halo Motions To the young men Who watch her hands Move like deadly weapons Stan’s a photographer. Sleepy, one night Left his equipment in a car Morning arrives and Broken windshield screams You’ve been robbed. Junior, a sculptor, needs rent money for a walkup in the East Village Otherwise he’ll live on someone’s couch Gil does commercials Until he finds an old lady Then Hollywood here he comes And Glenn is a writer with lots of ideas But no paper and no place to go. No one asked what I did for money Or where I lived. I was accepted with a simple sitdownhaveadrink. Sometimes there’d be ten of us Squeezed in a booth or Around a table Talking and talking. Any topic not important Just to meet and forget for awhile The nagging loneliness and rejection. It’s well past midnight Chairs scrape the floor and there’s an echo in the walls Left behind are empty glasses and stale beer As the place begins to empty out. We leave Hitting the still streets Looking for a cab Or the nearest subway But before we do We promise to meet again.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2009




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Date: 12/6/2011 2:56:00 PM
Been there a few times and can relate. Congrats on the selection. daver
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Date: 12/6/2011 12:15:00 PM
Congrats on your featured poem this week Edmund. Love, Carol
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Date: 1/13/2009 8:39:00 AM
Almost sets a scene like watching a movie! Well done, great writing! ~ Carrie
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