National Poetry Month: New York, Part 1

14 Apr


It is National Poetry Month and I’d like to celebrate with some short poems I love that communicate from/with New York.

My good friends Rachelle & Jeffery are also celebrating on their blogs; Rachelle by ambitiously writing a poem per day and Jeffery by posting poems he appeciates all month-long, links below.


Juke Box Love Song

-Langston Hughes

I could take the Harlem night

and wrap around you,

Take the neon lights and make a crown,

Take the Lenox Avenue busses,

Taxis, subways,

And for your love song tone their rumble down.

Take Harlem’s heartbeat,

Make a drumbeat,

Put it on a record, let it whirl,

And while we listen to it play,

Dance with you till day–

Dance with you, my sweet brown Harlem girl.


The Dawn

Federico García Lorca

The New York dawn has
four columns of mud
and a hurricane of black doves
that paddle in putrescent waters.

The New York dawn grieves
along the immense stairways,
seeking amidst the groins
spikenards of fine-drawn anguish.

The dawn comes and no one receives it in his mouth,
for there no morn or hope is possible.
Occasionally, coins in furious swarms
perforate and devour abandoned children.

The first to come out understand in their bones
that there will be no paradise nor amours stripped of leaves:
they know they are going to the mud of figures and laws,
to artless games, to fruitless sweat.

The light is buried under chains and noises
in impudent challenge of rootless science.
Through the suburbs sleepless people stagger,
as though just delivered from a shipwreck of blood.


excerpt from Puerto Rican Obituary

Pedro Pietri

They worked
They were always on time
They were never late
They never spoke back
when they were insulted
They worked
They never took days off
that were not on the calendar
They never went on strike
without permission
They worked
ten days a week
and were only paid for five
They worked
They worked
They worked
and they died


A Small Moment

Cornelius Eady

I walk into the bakery next door
To my apartment. They are about
To pull some sort of toast with cheese

From the oven.   When I ask:

What’s that smell? I am being
A poet, I am asking

What everyone else in the shop
Wanted to ask, but somehow couldn’t;
I am speaking on behalf of two other
Customers who wanted to buy the

Name of it.   I ask the woman

Behind the counter for a percentage
Of her sale. Am I flirting?
Am I happy because the days

Are longer?   Here’s what

She does: She takes her time

Choosing the slices.   “I am picking
Out the good ones,” she tells me.   It’s
April 14th.. Spring, with five to ten
Degrees to go.   Some days, I feel my duty;

Some days, I love my work.


5 Responses to “National Poetry Month: New York, Part 1”

  1. Medusalith Amaquelin April 14, 2009 at 8:47 pm #

    Federico García Lorca wrote a play called, “Bodas de Sangre,” or in english, “Blood Wedding.” Pick it up if you haven’t read it yet. 😉

  2. racruzzo April 15, 2009 at 2:46 am #

    Have you heard of this?:

    • lechicbatik April 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm #

      no, but that looks good – thanks!

  3. Eli Steffen April 15, 2009 at 6:00 pm #

    I appreciate that you have a poem that is not only about New York, but is also about almost this exact day. Also, have you heard of Tia Freedomford? She came to SLC way back when, I recently up loaded her CD and have been listening to it. It’s pretty awesome.

    • lechicbatik April 15, 2009 at 6:19 pm #

      i am so pleased that you noticed that!

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