The Old Gods

A poem I wrote some time ago when I still wrote poems occasionally has now been published. You can find it in a more dignified setting at the Wrath-Bearing Tree, or read it below.

Broken window and Manhattan skyline, NY, 2014
From Tom Grill’s New York Monochrome series

The Old Gods (No. 9, 2003)


The towers bloomed up in the dark

Like nails scrolling from dead fingers

While around them a languid curtain fell

In drifts of violet gas that settled on the roofs

All of us honeymooners and mourners

Aware of ourselves as objects in a landscape

That held above the chipped skyline

Bristling in the greater darkness

A dream of New York City



We must have lived inside that dreaming

No more able to escape than words can flee the page

Our old Gods who gave us a magic by which to love



In those days, we could take the D from 59th to 125th in one stop

Or all the way out to Coney Island

Not for the 24 hour pool room where the Russians played snooker a floor above the street

I did not go there with you

One night I had you with nothing between us

You were sat up on a jetty rock

I had the tide at my back

You in the shadow of Astroland

Lit by moon and amusement, a castaway





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