New York, New York

A Hollywood Texas and shades kinda guy
rounding W. 77th onto neoned Broadway;
sneakers hustling through February slush;
much observed (pantless tush in shorts
and T shirt) by locals in ear muffs, hats,
and gloves; I rush around three dank corners
in search of an alleged sports club which just
ain't where it oughta be .... so likely no Nautilus
and elliptical training respite (row by row by
after-work row of us?) tonight before dinner
at eight with the rest of the visiting family.

As the drizzle turns to snow, jetlagged, feeling
sorry for self (again) since sitting all day Uptown
in back-to-back-to-back caffeinated meetings
-- greeting and schmoozing many old friends
and a few enemies, clutching five ones, a five
and a ten in my freezing mitts to hand the clerk
at the Equinox Fitness Center an outrageous
per diem (the hotel doorman claims a bargain rate,
a slick deal if I flash the computer room key); almost
tripping over overflowing black industrial strength
plastic bags packed to the gills with stinking garbage;
I think I've bumped into a fleshier one which curses
something, then yells "Get off my back, mother fucker!"
--startling both of us, it from sleep, me into realizing
the trash is in fact very human and that I feel really bad.

Gerard Sarnat has worked and played in New York for four decades. He now
splits time between his Northern California forest home and Southern California's
beaches, where he and his wife care for their first grandson. Gerry is a
father of three, seeker and Jewbu, physician to the disenfranchised, past CEO and
Stanford professor, and virginal writer 'til the recent tender age of sixty. He
has been published or is forthcoming in EZAAPP, The Hiss Quarterly, Pens on
Fire, Poets Against War, and Thieves Jargon. "Just Like the Jones'," about his
experience caring for Jonestown survivors, was solicited by The Jonestown
Annual Report and will appear later this year. Gerry is currently working on an
epic prose poem, "The Homeless Chronicles." He has been accepted into a four
person writers' cooperative by The California Institute of Arts and Letters;
Pessoa Press plans to publish his first book within one or two years.

2008 Underground Voices