Manhattan

Today, considering it’s World Poetry Day (I hope all of you are celebrating by reading and writing your own poetry!), I’m going to post something I recently wrote up about New York City. I was inspired by a view of the city I managed to get while looking for parking before work.

Fresh Meadows and Jamaica Estates are very hilly neighborhoods where you can actually see Manhattan if the weather permits it. I managed to get a great view, and I knew I was going to write something about it.

Langston Hughes’ poetry has been a huge help for me lately as well. There are endless poems about Harlem that come out so vividly, so I thought I’d give it a shot too. I’m even thinking about my own series of poems or stories about New York City and Queens. We’ll see if it turns into anything.

Manhattan

The best and worst
about Manhattan is how
inviting the gridlocked streets
and skyscrapers are
from the borough on a hill,
how high up we look
when standing from
their marble steps, and
how far a simple Queens
man is from reaching
those heights.

*

The streets sucker him in,
knowing he’ll do anything
to call it home, but he knows
Home doesn’t play games,
telling him yes,
when what they mean is “Yes,
but…” There’s always a but
when it comes to New York.
“You didn’t let me finish,”
says 34th Street. “You can stay,
but you have to cut your
neighbor’s throat,” they laugh.
“Cut it, and if you don’t blink,
you’re in — you’re one of us.”

*

Manhattan from Queens
is a beautiful sight, but —
another but — it’s not worth
the venomous landlords,
five-dollar-a-gallon milk,
fourth-floor, rat-infested
walkups for $3000 a month,
plus a broker fee, application fee,
and security deposit steal
his dignity, demand he pull
his pants down and bend
over while it chokes out
every last dollar, while it
twists the knife, as it throws
him down his concrete steps,
to the streets that promised
the man from Queens a home.

 

Submissions

If you’re interested in submitting your own poem, please see my submission guidelines. I’ve changed up the menu a bit on my website, but they should be just as easy to find. Just click Submissions. I’ll accept work from any genre, so it doesn’t have to be a poem.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Forestwood says:

    New York sounds vicious!!! I won’t be adding it to my travel wishlist anytime soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s only vicious to those who wish to live there and make under 100k a year. Everyone should visit at least once.

      Like

      1. Forestwood says:

        Ah. I think it might be enough to see it in pictures!! And hear the stories.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Langston Hughes is my favorite poet! I get lost in his works and find myself loathing drifting back to this present reality. But alas, we must live here and now. Your poem brought me back a bit to an older style of prose that felt pure and raw. I enjoyed it. Manhattan is one of my favorite places to visit – to roam and take it in, to enjoy the sounds and sights – and then head home. I look forward to reading more from you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the kind words! I live outside the city, but I’m there a lot. There’s inspiration for a story on every street corner. Definitely one of my favorite places to be.

      Liked by 1 person

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