Lost in New York 2
LOST IN NEW YORK The city is a woman... There is no doubt of it. She is far too wise... Far too strong... Far too beautiful and true to be a man. PART ONE: (On City Sky.) I see you New York! Your arms outstretched across a nation. Your eyes gazing over the endless oceans before you. Your lights shinning over the hills and the valleys of your humble neighbors. All fail when compared with you New York! I see you now as I see you a hundred years from now... As I see you a hundred years before. I see you rising from the forest and fields of the Sixteenth Century. I see your camps turn to homes... Your homes to towns... And your towns to cities. I see your beaten paths turn from mud to cobblestone to concrete... ...From foot to hoof to tire. I see your fertile fields disappear and in their place the rise of man. I see your architects building ever higher... ...Ever reaching for the face of God. I see you New York! I see your rivers run into the Great Atlantic. I see the ships on those rivers... How they glide upon those placid waters... How those waters reflect the endless sun and sky. How the sun and sky shine endless upon you. I see the men on those ships. I feel the soul of the ancient sailor in those men. (Ancient as all souls are.) I see the centuries roll by like the tide of a river. The years wax and wane as one passing moment. I see them toil with their cargo. Produce from all parts of the exotic earth... Crates of foreign goods... Faces of distant lands. I see them now as I have seen them before. As those who have passed have seen them. As those who will come shall see them. I see you New York! I see your crowds gather in the city squares. I hear their songs of summer. I see the university men and women basking in the glory of their youth. I see them courting in the evening hours. I feel the cool fountain water splash against their naked feet. I hear the commotion of the side-street traffic off in the distance. It is here and now I see the generations pass. I see these same faces... I feel these same souls... Rising from today as they will rise from our tomorrows ... As they have risen from our yesterdays. It is here and now I see these timeless moments. It is in this place with these sights and sounds, With these crowds who sing their songs, With these crowds who stroll these streets, And who browse these shops, And who drink from these counters, And who converse on these summer eves, And who breath this air. And which I am a part of... And it is a constant reminder of a moment... ...which is repeated... ...which is reproduced (similar yet not the same)... ...in the lifetime of all those who seek and who find her. I see you New York! Though the costumes of your actors change, Though the pages of your calendar turn, Though your seasons... (the seasons of the generations)... pass from spring to summer to fall to winter, I see you still... ...As you once were... ...As you are now... ...And as you will be many years from now. I see Rome in the distance... I see the crumbling stones and the rusting steel. I see the rising waters... Yet I see you standing firm. I see the seasons pass around you I see the centuries fall before you. I see you ever strong ... I see you ever true. I see you now as I have seen you before... as I will see you always. PART TWO: (On City Sights.) No sight compares with her... No sound so sweet as when echoed by her voice... No taste,...no touch....no smell...no sense of any kind holds weight against her. She is the jewel of the city. The art upon the museum walls.... The rising towers of silver and bronze... The open air cathedrals and parks... The lilac trees in full bloom... The coolness of the eighth months summers eve... ...All fail when compared with her. She is New York Woman. She is the same as others...yet different... She is stronger and wiser than most. I see her here and now in this place as I have seen her before... ...As I shall see her again. She is forever young. Forever as beautiful as the maiden hour. She hustles though these hungry streets... Catching the eyes... (Accepting those she likes...dismissing those she does not). She lingers in the subway depot... Watching the commuters pass her by. She strolls through the village market... Examining the fruits... Smelling flowers... Smiling at the farmers and the farmers children. She is everywhere at once... She is everything at once... The new-found beauty of a foreign land... The humble mid-western girl-next-door... The unwed mother of three who's age deceives her... The middle-aged executive...designer suit and leather bag... The petit teen of Asian decent...eyes painted blue and yellow... The twenty-something Spanish girl her brown skin out-shines all... The Black woman... her hair wrapped... proud... Her face stern yet loving... Her eyes strong and determined... Her skin dark and flawless... Her mind pure and holy. The White girl on her way to Brooklyn... She wears her dark glasses always.. She hears her music always... She dresses in layers... She dresses in colors... She speaks in poetry and talks of revolution ... She eyes the other women... ...and dreams of unrepentant love and freedom. The seventy-two year old widow/ mother/ grandmother/ temple. She sees the years pass by her... She sees the rise and fall of the empire... She sees the young become old... ...and the old become young again. She is more beautiful than any other... Her age and her elegance are the gateways... ...to wisdom...to understanding ... to acceptance. New York Woman... She is the same as others...yet different. She is unequaled in beauty... She is unrivaled in style... She is unmatched in grace. She is here now ...as she was here before...as she will be here always. PART THREE: (On City Summer.) I see the dark skinned goddess of summer. I see blind women with walking canes clutching laundry bags. I see Mexican recyclers searching every garbage pail. A silent stalker with a telephoto lens eying The Girls of August. I see families on holiday with maps upside down and pockets inside out. I see pasty white students in one hundred degree sweaters looking for truth everywhere but in their own minds. I see the Twenty-First Century City of The Mind. Modern day pirates off Bleeker sleeping on cardboard and dreaming of endless oceans. China Town gang bangs and cheap bread for anyone who dares to eat it. Endless sex-in-the- street women tanned and ready for the big show. The wandering Canadians with strawberry boxes and local magazines still discussing the power of The Raging Niagara. Trust fund babies with turned up collars and an obscene sense of fashion etiquette. I see subway suspicion. A hundred eyes looking for would-be bombers and ever present paranoia. Posters advertising doctors, lawyers and cheap lays. All possible sizes shapes and colors on every car of the L-Train. Underwater adventures with Captain Bill and the LES Six. Drunken ex-soldiers discussing Vietnam and the Next World War while accepting loose change from anyone who hates violence. I hear the roar of the underground serpent echoing through carnival streets. Unknown languages spoken in whispers and eyes alone. Poetry in every silent moment. Sirens from Eighth to First Avenues dodging yellow taxis. University Hipsters discussing the importance of Blake and Thomas in relation to modern day politics. Anti- Everything rallies in Union and Washington Square. Tambourines and Hare Krishna chants performed by young boys and old men in white-washed bathrobes along St. Marks and Avenue A. I hear Wall Street in the distance. I hear money/ money/ money. I hear oil/ gas/ gold and wheat being bought, sold and stolen at record prices. The sound of five thousand dollar mini-skirts on display in every Fifth Avenue window. Helicopters and private planes carting billionaires from Midtown to Downtown to Chelsea. The voice of ancient ghosts screaming out their names their lives and their anthems. I hear the silence of Sunday morning. St Patrick's choirs and the song of the black widow sparrow. The clop-clop of the police on horseback. The bang-bang of the garbage truck attendant. The cooing of the under-fed pigeon and the crying of the over-fed child. I hear the breath of the early morning maniacs grinding their bodies into a Da Vinci. I hear the world in an instant. The overwhelming presence of the here-and-now in the rhythm of a waking city. I feel the city in every breath and step. I feel the pride of America. The pulse of the known-free-world running from Broadway to the Hudson and out to sea. I feel the dying heart of the Twentieth Century, both forgotten and forgiven when the clock struck twelve. I feel concrete on the feet, steel on the hand and water on the head. I feel like getting lost in The West Village Maze and winding up asleep on the doorstep of The Brooklyn Dawn. I feel the triumph of Harlem. The fire-hydrant pools cooling the naked bodies of our last great civilization. I feel the panic of the young and hungry, running/ walking/ crawling in the race for fame/ fortune and faceless freedom. I feel the life of every New York soul in the first hour of the morning. The shifting waves of light and dark on the sinking grid of the urban jungle. The buzz of The Electric Times Square with her five billion watts of power outshining any sun. I feel like Stalin on his deathbed. Overwhelmed with unanswered questions and untouched ideas. I feel the soot and the ash of the railroad yard. The wheels on the miles of steel and the miles of steel itself. The rush of the traffic at noon and the silence of engines in the early morning. I feel the holes in the hearts of the homeless and the holes in the heads of the poor. The ghetto queens and back alley dreamers of the east and the bastard children and the stardust druggies of the west. I feel the bones of the skeleton statues in the banks and investment corporate headquarters. I smell the stockyards and the shipping ports. The bananas and the fish, the rice and the citrus fruits of the far south. I smell the bakery in the waking hour. The coffee house and the early morning eggs for breakfast. I smell the heat of the summer reflecting off the concrete and glass. I smell the concrete and glass reflecting off the millions of souls upon them. The fumes from ancient automobiles and the stench of the still summer subway. I smell the coolness of the West Village evening. The blossoms on the trees, on the ground, on the shoulder. I smell the painters and the poets of the summer spread out over three acres of trees, grass, water and pavement. I smell the art and song of life in the blowing wind and in the falling rain. The scent of the street after a summer rain. The wet bodies at a corner -crossing or in a crowded store. The wet hair and the draining perfume of the women seeking shelter at the station. I smell the continuous flow of the Hudson. The breeze and the birds floating over her waters and the nearby vendors selling pretzels and soda water. I smell the factories of New Jersey, the smokestacks and oil fires burning on the horizon. The tugboats and the ferries skimming on the water top and the toxic fish swimming in the deep. I smell the sporting fields and courts along the waters edge. I smell the runners the jumpers and the summersault queens dancing in the evening. I taste the boxcar lunches and the red wine diners. I taste the sweat of the city sweeper on the last break of his nine hour shift. I taste the sweat of the Madison Avenue Heiress, the single drop that falls from the brow to the feet of the unknowing and undeserving. I taste the blood of the ghetto killer and the rage of the ghetto victim. I taste the tears of the ghetto mothers and the fears of the ghetto children. The hopeless desperation of the runaway and the overwhelming confidence of the old yet naive. I taste the mountains of engines piled upon every stop light. I taste the traffic cop in his rookie uniform and oversized cap. I taste the marble halls of the art museums and the colored canvas on the walls. The coffee bars and the sandwich shops on every block after block after block. I taste the dreams of the living and the dreams of the dead. I taste the air conditioned superstores and the open-aired markets. I taste the local grown produce of the Union Square Farmers Market. I taste the street art and the songs of the street singer. I taste the books of the constant readers, the students, the lawyers and the soon -to-be-informed. I taste carriage rides through the park and the bikers and skaters buzzing around the carriage. The basketball and handball courts and the overcrowded train cars. I taste the skin of every country on earth collected in the unconscious soul of a single city. PART FOUR: (On City Scene.) This city is for poets. It always was...and always will be for poets. (The endless inspiration she provides will draw them for centuries to come.) I see them take their place among the others... Pen and paper in hand... In the streets, in the parks, in the stores and on the subways. I hear their song... (The collective song of millions passing through them to all others.) Their canvas ... The rhythm of the city... Their brushes...the sounds of the city... Their colors...the faces and the souls of the city. They are here now... As they were here before... As they will be here always. Also available from this artist: Americana Nirvana The Acoustic Albums: Volume I) Life & Death, Love & War (The Acoustic Albums: Volume III) For more information please visit mattdiff.com.