Poems by Leo Liebeskind
I can see the tambourine melting, flames
flying from the frames of
as he wrestles with personal pianos
wrung with whisky stains
and oldened wood,
whispers running wild,
wicked, wet and withstanding
triumphantly like trumpets
parading Broadway at sunshine’s
clouds siphoning droplets of golden purity,
blissful extension of an idea,
in the gutterous trenches
of guitar string re-structuring,
plucking with Platonic precision, with
only the good intentions
of his left and right hands,
but possibly too much friction,
imaginative figments frying, fingers
sizzling on a hot, hot iron,
spun ‘round, topsy and turvy, wavering
like the water flow through the Chem-Ex
am keeled over
in front of, worshipping
on hands and knees,
ribbon microphone and measuring
machine in hand,
matching in color but
clashing and crashing in timbre,
texture, and torrent, too much
to pick apart,
as only feelings of fulfillment
could possibly be left to unpackage
with the cool water sounds of
harmonica breakage simmering
sweetly, sweating and bloody but
drenched in double forgiveness,
doubt, a washed out notion
of the cleanliness and clarity
to tie up
two loose ends in order
to become tight.
Waiting once again,
the burning oil hits
the faded lamp.
The yellow platform is rusty and
caked with the dirty scum
of the bottoms
of the people’s
feet, and we all know
there ain’t nothing good
Café Bustelo and his
silver harp start to play away
my blues. Good sounds
are radiant with vibratos after
through the underground.
A young woman in black and gold strobes
having too much too drink smiles
mercilessly, but she’s grasping at sincerity. She
fishes for something, but
two fives are all
She feels bad – then
she realizes she needs a 20 spot
back home, and her brain goes
she’ll have to go home
‘cause the next train “to Manhattan” departs in
Black clad fellow
whistles by, chain round his neck
looking shiny but tacky.
He’s antsy, flying high
off the walls like a kid in his first bar in a foreign city. Bustelo is
singing the Kinks now as he plays his metal honky tonk machine;
“Waterloo Sunset” and it’s perfect timing as
my mood has merged
with the peak subway hour, just before
when the waiting
gets too rough. He looks like he rode in
from another time on the top of a Buick
and nobody sees ‘cause it’s too many years down the line
he’s making me feel like a kid again,
two of my dad’s VW Golfs ago
on some road escaping
and we caught a good moment on
and I’m singing along and
now I’m lost and heading straight into
The whistle is
in the distance now, rumbling in
towards the clearing, our path back
to the center of
the loin, where
we can make our stay for a
I am on 14th street, and I’m in
my dad’s old car on the highway somewhere, and Waterloo
Station, all at once. It is
a happy feeling. I’ll be sad
to have to go.
The people are anxious to move on.
The groove is on the tracks that are rusted
but hold a strange sense of elegance,
They skipped the count
now, but unlike the rest of us
he isn’t rushing
as the orange letters signify our victory
over the obviously devious
and its transit authority. Goodbye stranger,
man from the cover of Aqualung. Please
play your love songs
all night long.
dim sum tuesday
noodles in gravy
i’m waving to the waiter “hi”
(i think he sees me)
sometimes i’m patient
but today i’m feeling
sometimes i perish quickly
and then drive my car
straight back to heaven.
things are getting heated now
the band is playing twice as fast as normal and i’m forgetting what normal is
the world is my stage
this basement room’s a tomb
cold walls and colder glances from strangers
but your eyes are warm and
blue, entice me!
i’m wondering whether it’s all worth it
device me. you’re bothering me
and it’s worthless.
any chance of excitement now. wandering
down the aisle like a tumult, somersaulting
saltined green beans and idaho blue jeans hand in hand
it’s a love potion
nine lives and the time flies
it’s a love poem
it takes time to make time baby
and not every line has to rhyme
as long as the melody
right and wrong are drag casual
technical and beyond factual
and back when they wrote the rules
i was too busy studying the gospel
to understand the difference between what’s real and what’s actual.
lawrence told me neon isn’t a color.
“the answer isn’t always in the make believe
sometimes romance is brief.”
lawrence says i should stick to reality
but in the end we’re all drastically dissident
and who really gives a shit about the difference between staff and faculty?
my faculties are waning. my head
is in pain
pills can’t save me now!
front end first to kill what hurts
but it only gets worse
scrolls of crimson ribbon
thanksgiving is gone the indians stole it back from the from the british
dr. pentagon found his sixth sense so he’s quitting
drown the rest of them
i’m sitting with the big boys now
‘cause daddy said to milk the kowtow
he was right, you know. they love you when you’re down
i’m the sad clown (pull my strings
and i’ll shine for you)
i’m the lost sound (clap your hands
and i’ll lie with you)
please don’t sacrifice me to the monkeys
i’ve got a burden on my back but i ain’t no junkie
but i’m good for you
i’m the river’s edge when the dogs come out
a mean dream cast in shadow
the lights are low for the curfew —
it’s not personal.
mary dressed in drag tonight
comes out in green and yellow lights
hidden by wisdom.
hiding her wisdom
she’s a vixen.
skin like ivory
eyes wide and fiery
dark red hair droops down to the ground like it’s slowly dying.
she sings like the wind on a cool, mellow morning
thin and hollow
a whisper in an otherwise silent dream.
for a brief moment, i recall a time when i was a child
and the sky wasn’t so bleak.
The moon was fading fast as I waved her down.
Silicone sirens billowed out across the hardtack floors,
where mystics and vagabonds lay peacefully on open beds of sheet metal and good vibes.
It was chilly, but summer was still fading into winter with no fall in between.
After a few minutes, the years had gone by before my eyes.
One stop on the subway and suddenly I’m 15 again,
close to something, far from tragedy,
drama un-begun, hopefully still to come.
then i remember my headache and i’m lost again
swimming with the chinatown fishes.
Where the green grass grows
Only you can say.
Greener still are the stops on the subway,
So green, so green,
Like the thoughts you’re inciting.
I’m inviting you to but you can’t listen.
You have two good ears too, but
There’s something missing.
The fishes would all swim to you if they could,
They surely would –
Look at how the world curls before your amber eyes.
You told me you felt paralyzed.
I held back tears. I said
That I can empathize,
And I wasn’t lying.
Please try me.