NaPoWriMo, Day 21

Today’s prompt is to write a “New York School” poem using “ingredients” you choose from this recipe:

-at least one addressee (to which you may or may not wish to dedicate your poem)
-use of specific place names and dates (time, day, month, year)–especially the names of places in and around New York City
-prolific use of proper names
-at least one reminiscence, aside, digression, or anecdote
-one or more quotations, especially from things people have said in conversation or through the media
-a moment where you call into question at least one thing you have said or proposed throughout your poem so far
-something that sounds amazing even if it doesn’t make any sense to you
pop cultural references
consumer goods/services
-mention of natural phenomena (in which natural phenomena do not appear ‘natural’)
-slang/colloquialism/vernacular/the word “fuck”
-at least one celebrity
-at least one question directed at the addressee/imagined reader
-reference to sex or use of sexual innuendo
-the words “life” and “death”
-at least one exclamation/declaration of love
-references to fine art, theater, music, or film
-mention of genitals and body parts
food items
-drug references (legal or illegal)
-mention of sleep or dreaming
-use of ironic overtones


Dear S,

Manhattan is burning up-
it’s all concrete and asphalt,
no heat can escape.
And neither can I, for now.
So I take long walks up 5th Avenue to the Park,
and eat bagels, Grey’s Papaya, pizza,
with the assured slenderness of a 22-year-old who gets most everywhere on foot.
Justin Timberlake provides the soundtrack to my solitary wanderings.  You would tease me mercilessly, but I think he sounds so New York.
At night I read Harry Potter, and marvel at the bottle of vodka kept in a university dorm-room freezer-a forbidden thing on the dry campus of our own school.
It’s so hot, I can sleep only with a fan blowing directly on my face.
And S, you rarely haunt my temporary city.
I left you at home and find I have no room for you in my head, here,
Nor for anyone else.


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