I wrote these in one sitting sometime around the end of my job in Dumbo. I love the area, but it’s an odd place. When everyone goes home, the area is dead as can be, closing up far earlier than the rest of the City. After the industry left, the warehouses and factories were dormant, then suddenly transformed by gentrification, and the neighborhood feels more like a temporary fixture, some kind of ephemeral ghost-town, where the real estate boom lapped over the edge of the places people actually lived and deposited some living sediment. There’s no history, in a sense, Dumbo is a place that had a history, of course, but it was suddenly and effortlessly covered up, re-imagined, no gradient exists between the new and old, just a barrier, from one episode to the next, and you can feel it everywhere.
1. Rat whispers
Some people say that when it rains, it pours. The truth of this is relevant only to this experience of compounded, slick, cool wafers in the distant, where are we now? I’ll tell you what; the guy who said that wasn’t coming up with much. A pound of shit, a day of bad phone calls, complaints, incessant French dismissiveness, a fucking hangover and a rude awakening. I’ve got this feeling that it’s all really quite relative, all a burden, a bankrupt fissure squirting sick, sick enough, enough to pass around half a serving to any bastard who’ll look up from their phone. The subway isn’t ever quiet. Isn’t ever blended. It is the nightmare vein that lacks a heart. Feed it with rats and rat poison. Feed it garbage and lunch bags, umbrellas, plastic anything, a few lives. Call it a sickness. We’re delayed on our journey into nothingness. We found a penny where someone had been sick. We only take money from checks.
2. Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Rats
Somewhere along Jay Street you can bet you’ll see him with his walker and his coats, no hoard, but whatever’s in the basket, how do you spend your day? Outside a deli where they forget the credit card policy. Walking down the block from York with no smile, do you see these old hipsters? We are a designer leather bag with oily straps. My greed is the art fucks sipping coffee in a bar of hip with honey, sugar, fair trade sugar, brown sugar, stevia, agave nectar, simple syrup, soy milk, almond milk, whole, half cream, two percent, two kinds of lids, endless brown paper napkins, flat wood stirs, thermal covers, all laid out on one up-cycled table. Might take that walker down to the hookah lounge where the displaced French-speaking owner will rub you the right way. Tell me your interests. Talk here. Be here for the sandwiches. Sit on the little white chairs, unless it’s Winter, watch the coffee shop; aren’t you glad you’re not in there? Shuffle man, it’s cold, the brown dog-piss slurry’s all over everything and the station’s got two staircases covered in coarse salt we don’t want, we don’t need.
3. Dry Ratini
The time’s right for now we haven’t checked the possible messages not left or half drafted, but the light’s flashing on your little portal to the never-land of missed connections and darting, shy eyes lifted from the cheap tricks. I’ve got a cheap shot at your pride, you motherfucker, you dim-souled wash; pin me like another butterfly to the headboard, pinch me till you see I’m really real, say something, grunt and breath, my hair and chest, dislike the choice of background music, silence me with vision, see me in the dark, feel the pin in my chest, tell me I’ll die this way. And it is. And it is.