New York Story

Then I find it has turned September
That month, you know

And I’m here, in New York
Writing about New York in a New York story

Where characters behave as if
They were right at home at first breath

So I cook shrimp etouffee

(The only meal I cook with conviction
Just like sailboats are the vessels I can draw)

Inviting the landlord down for a bowl

So he can tell me about the Italians here
Shotgun Gennaro, Sally D., Hank the Hammer

Who earned that name after entering a bar
With a gun in each hand, both hammers cocked

They’re all gone, almost gone, or going
Except for the notes I keep

Piling it up, names, phrases, lost stuff
Collecting like an obstinate child

Who has no business knowing his Hart Crane,
September remember, October all over

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