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Richard Younger

Purveyor of Fine Tunes for All Ages
Music / Movement Specialist
Writer

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Recent poems


Fulton street

funky

forgotten

Fulton street.

To me, the most claustrophobic

area in the city.

It’s never been a fun destination,

usually a neighborhood you

“have” to go to or through.


The City grew from these

curling and winding streets.

Thomas Jefferson lived here

before the buildings loomed high

erasing the open sky.

Then, you could see the forest

of masts and spars from the piers.

Great sailing ships, shoulder to shoulder

a beehive of activity

Walt Whitman walked these streets

rode the Fulton ferry to where it connected with Brooklyn’s Fulton Street

But now is no time to ponder history

Places to go, people to see

on this wet afternoon

---------------

They sang

boys

young men

Voices entwined in harmony

Sweet harmony

So many summers ago

And now there is no one

under the street lamp

or standing beneath the El

close enough to kiss

Sharing their sound with the dark

or the lovers walking by

who knew these songs were for them

And they nodded their appreciation

while the boys sang for the lovers

and for one another, each on a quest

for love divine

Now, there are no more

voices in the night

chanting of love

magical

mysterious

thrilling

all consuming

Love

that can only

be sung

with beautiful harmony

and teenage hearts

that for some

would never be

But they sang

anyway

as the lonely truant officer made his way home

oblivious

And if you close your eyes

and if the mad city

quiets for a moment

The bottom

Baritone

2nd tenor

1st tenor

ring out their immortal plea

anthems of

dedication

conviction

resolution and desire

most of all desire

that kept their teenage hearts

young for years and years

singing of the perfect girl

and the perfect love

as carefree as a Sunday afternoon

Until they were no longer young

and their pealing voices

went silent

------------

She threw her shoe to me.

Out of the Women’s House of Detention.

I caught it. One hand.

“Whaddya want me to do with this?”

I hollered up at the shadow by the window.

“Keep it,” she replied.

“When I get out, we’ll go dancing.”

“How will I know you?”

“I’ll be missing a shoe.”

And, two years later, we danced till three a.m. at Trudy Hellers across the street. 

The Remains were the house band and they played Lee Dorsey’s “Ride Your Pony” for forty minutes.

The next morning she left with my wallet.

It was worth it.

----------------------


Poor misunderstood Frankenstein

Science played him a lousy trick

Childlike

Alienated, impulsive

Don’t put him in front

Of a mirror.


Frank N. Stein

Coulda been a Dr.

or a Lawyer

“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury...”

in a handsome coat.


But NO, he lived a life of shame

thanks to a TRUE idiot:

illiterate Igor.

There’s always one,

In every life.


Frank: music lover,

Fearful of fire

Friend to children

until...oops.


Oh, shit. Here come the villagers

torches a-blazing!

And don’t even get him started

On the female thing!

-----------------

She lived at the Hotel Cadillac

I was at the Edsel Inn

She ate eggs Benedict for Breakfast

I had Pop Tarts

She aspired to be sculptress

I was content to be a drunk

She envisioned a life of leisure

So did I


------------------

How many blue moons

since

our last kiss?

In this spectral wilderness

I wonder

if I ever cross your mind,

like the clouds that

drift

across a blue moon


----------

I saw them them from across the avenue

Ocean Avenue

Teen boys holding their guitars

Electric guitars

With cool modern shapes

Not like the cowboy guitars

I had only seen in books

These were different

Defiant

Bold

Announcing in their sleek design

That the future was now

It was only for a brief moment

as I looked through the window

of Maddy’s luncheonette

where I often sat at the counter and enjoyed the most delicious little hamburgers

and chocolate malteds

and stole glances at the

frightening headlines of The Enquirer

That I spied them

One of them I recognized as a friend of my older brother, Phil Younger

Standing by the bus stop

with no guitar cases

For those things were expensive

and mostly unnecessary

Holding their defiant guitars

in the midday light

Something in their movements

and their wind-swept hair

said they were on a mission,

in a hurry.

So they hailed a taxi

and rode away.

Wow!