Tuesday, 22 April 2014

NaPoWriMo Catch-up: Asking for Lashonda

Twitter, Facebook, 
in New York I never had you;
no smartphone to use
to search YouTube for the videos

that make a jet-lagged night pass
in a fog of hormonal excitement. 
I scanned the 'massage service' ads
in the back of the Village Voice instead:

a snapshot
of the dirtiest wishes
American dollars
will pay to have fulfilled. 

No supermodels, 
and very few white girls.
An astonishing number
of women like me

displaying what I'd prefer to hide
as a sexual USP. 
These are the kind of hotel rooms,
I thought,

across the street from the dive bar
where I read 'Underworld', drank Stella
and fell in love with a barmaid I'd pass
later by a DON'T WALK sign

somewhere in Alphabet City,
where American fingers dial up outside lines
and ask to meet Lashonda, 
Jasmine, Dominique.

'Why have hamburger,'
read the caption
above a hooker fondling her dick,
'when you could have fillet mignon?'

I looked at the stack of bills dwindling
on the table by my bed. 
By this point I could murder a burger:
I'd been surviving on hot dogs for days.


The prompt for this particular day was to try and write a New York school poem. This is really more of a poem about New York, specifically my first visit there, and my shock at discovering the surprisingly long section of the Village Voice devoted to, ahem, 'specialist' services. I imagine Craigslist has probably killed that off by now. 

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