The East Village

Paolo Javier

Today At Ground Zero 
you are twenty-seven years of age with another year to go,
your five-digit zip code still ends in zero,
you speak a second language that isn't 

	Yet you have many acquaintances.
	Yet you always seem to have a clue 
	by Friday morning what to do on Sunday night. 
	Others tend to adopt your slang more than you pick up theirs.

		& yet, you're superstitious. 
		You like to dwell on your mistakes.  
		You try your best not to smile for the camera. 

	You can't imagine, then, ever hitting a nude beach today & 
	diving headfirst into the ocean naked.
	Others will never get to see the inside of your shoes.

		Still, you continue to represent PC's over Macs. 
		& you recognize the greatness of Cyberspace continues 
		in Her gift to you of a permanent address.
Lost in the boroughs of New York, you grow nervous & bold.  
You hum house loops under each anxious breath as
you exhale along the widening avenues where it's
always best to drag your shoes behind groups of zero acquaintances.
If only it weren't such a goddamn convenience, 
						you'd lose the cell phone in a flash.

	For today, you prefer to be mysterious.
	Today, you prefer the colors navy-blue & gray to beige.
	You prefer your meal replaced than sent back.
	You prefer to sell your body & your soul than to miss 
						Body & Soul this weekend.

   		For you'd like to believe the search for true love still thickens 
    	in the sticky air. You fall in love 
    	easily, but don't fall out of love 
   		kindly, & therefore 
						you believe in revenge.

When offered that which you desire most of all in the world
			in exchange for your silence 
			you will be silenced by it.

	If someone you were really into one day sang,

		 	'You & me just ain't 
				right for each other' 

						& dumped you right then

		you would find it in your heart to forgive 
		their poor grammar. 

	Right then, you would rather have a scientific theory named after you,
	you would rather take a multiple choice exam over a written one.
	In your opinion, Mouse A looks a hell of a lot happier today than B, 

			& "when the man in the picture 
	 		is touching the monkey 
			it means his lover's 
			dog is heart-broken" 

							this doesn't at all to you seem dirty.

In your opinion, situations exist today when there is no absolute truth.
In your opinion, Shakespeare's the bigger genius. 
In your opinion, Imelda was the bigger prick. 

		Neither of which, of course, adds up to much of anything 
			in the end. 

		At the end of the day, you still best express yourself quietly, 
			or on an unmade bed;

		you believe Darwin more than Kant;

		between art & life, there is still Art in Life; &


		Death your final act 

					only if all the lights come back on.