Coney Island Suite
Ride bells ring stale;
in the orange head of a plastic clown.
Glass shards glow dull on the broken beach.
Work men in shirt sleeves
sprawl on a vacant lot at lunch.
A lazy arm lies over eyes;
the other across the weeds lies-
a thick forearm's winding vein
ends in the wrist of an opened hand-
knee bent to the sky.
His buddy squats over a lunch bucket
sucking chicken shreds from his teeth.
Hands hung over knees, head low to shoulders.
Rag weed sprays
weave round a can, an old
newspaper dissolves in the gutter.
postcards draw the nose of a fat assed cop
through a drugstore window,
to a thriving Brooklyn Boardwalk
in 19 something or other.
The roller coasters' clapboards groan
against the rail, the cars come
in wind-thrust iron
beaded with heads and streamers
of hair, howl and shriek. That big sound
of a roller coaster gone by to smallness
like a box of glass falling through the cable of memory
connecting this day to those.
Lost rooms. Looking out windows.
This woman in a red ticket booth
reading a television schedule.
Old men in pale slacks
bang their walkers in time
to a dying boardwalk's
This was their future.
all of it ocean
waves horn honks radio
rap ride whistle
all of it stands
on the outside
of a mountainous black woman on a bench
in hospital white, her eyebrows
down in her brow, her
whispered gospel cavern deep in high
sighed tryings and whole groaned
and lonely at the core
of her enormous self, her big legs
closed at the knees, her giant calves closing
in on a tiny pair of hospital pumps
touched finely together at the toes.
At hearing's edge down the deep hole
far and away to the old men benched
outside the Aquarium where the sirens
of Atlantic Avenue slash thought.
A vacant lot's garden of forgottens:
S hooks and ass worn bucket seats,
a gear shift, a rust red I-beam,
cable coils, plastic clown’s head red
and blue but grease stained.
Lovely, the rings of razor wire wrapped
round a fence with a ripped out trash bag blowing.
Green antifroze ground,
an oil spider
creeps from its filter
in smoky rainbows across
a catch of morning rain,
seat belts, cog and chain;
shit diaper, bottleneck
all the ads end up here
On the beach an old man
sweeps his sand with a metal detector
lost coins, jewels and buried junk
court their final suitor.