Sunday, January 12, 2014

Times Square, 2013...

Photo (c) Amy Hoogenboom, 2013.

And I
am finally here,

in Times Square,

my dear!!

The angels,
they have dirty faces
and empty pockets,

and they can't always afford to tip.

And it is true:
You cannot always see their wings
in the neon glare of Broadway.

Even in daylight, it has a knack of
seeping into your very soul,
cracking you open
from the inside out,
setting your eyeballs on fire.

They sometimes find it hard 
taking flight,
those dirty-faced angels,

'cause all those damn tourists
never look where they're walking!!

I must learn to get into the flow,
the natural Big Apple rhythm...
Within moments,
I learn to eyeball people, 

even though I can't see their eyeballs.

I learnt this technique
many years before;
when crossing busy roads,

pretending to see drivers 
behind the steering wheels & the windscreens
of their high speed, moving metal boxes.  

In the bustle of a New York street,
when all the ants just want to get home
to their nest, to their loved ones...

Send out this psychic message:

"Get out of the way!!"

Sure enough,
like Moses parting a human Red Sea,
thinking you can see them
(and are not prepared to move)

they will get out of your way.

But in the bustle,
look a little closer.

Deep inside the eyes
of the masses
and the occasional 
angel's dirty face,

you will see something more.

Frank, but friendly.

Starlight amongst the neon,
diamonds in these dirty streets.

More than that,
something familiar.

A symbiosis 
between city and human.
One lending itself to the other.

A mutual inspiration & respect,
urban & human,
tarmac & heart.

Is this the fire that
Lou, Andy, John & Keith all learnt
to control,

to hold boldly in their hands
and fashion into wings

of art,
of music,
of words?

Such a big place,
but so much slower than you ever expect.

And nothing,

nothing can quite prepare you
(not even forty-five years of popular culture)...

For so, so much heart,
so much dignity
and generosity...

...all of it hiding (if only you look)
amongst the shimmering neon
or in the smile of a Diner waitress.

I am finally here.
And dreams do come true,

if you have the patience to
work hard & wait half a lifetime or more for them.

Nearly twenty five years...

Was it worth the wait?


And I am finally here,

here in Times Square,
my dear!!

In my mind I write you a postcard...

Wish you were here.

If I close my eyes,
I am right back there again...
From out of the window of my speeding Courtesy Car,
I can still see that first heart-stopping glimpse
of the Empire State & Chrysler Buildings
aglow on the Big Apple late-night horizon.
The car stereo is screaming.
The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" fills my ears.
I am here! This is it!! I am so alive!!!
And I will never, ever be the same again.

(c) Brent M Harpur, 2014.

-For A & R and Lou Reed.

Perhaps, when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing." (Sylvia Plath)

"There's some magic in everything. And some loss to even things out." (Lou Reed)

"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end." (Ernest Hemingway)