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The Words upon the Walk


“No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money—Samuel Johnson


A gathering of righteous Crustaceans,

we circle the wagons in St. Mark’s yard,

six Jesus clones, four Magdalenes,

plus a shitload of gear, food, dogs, guitars,

all wrapped in a fug from trucks, buses, cars.

Ciggies to smoke, soda to drink, but grass

verboten! Fuzz will bust your sorry ass!


Pete strums his guitar, a choice Crust-Ho sings:

Now Rocky Raccoon fell back in his room.

Chazz covers his ears in mock-agony.

“Enough of that hippy-dip, let’s get down!”

A boom box pumps out hardcore crust-punk sound:


Made up my mind, time to run away,

gonna live my life my own fuckin’ way!

Clean out the cupboard –Dad’s stash, Mom’s bread–

take off for New Yawk, where shit and Fool’s Gold

run in the streets. Come along, Sis, so Dad

don’t knock you up again, Papa Chomo!

Time, the time is now, to run away from home!


Yo! Five-O! The Po-Po! Scruffies, make tracks!

Grab everything! Haul ass! Don’t stop to look back!


Back on the sidewalk with Spike and my gear,

Fourteenth Street and University Place,

my personal turf, right off Union Square,

I talk to myself, bemoan my sad case.

Invading my space, Belshazzars, apace,

stride past to the gym, then shop, eat outdoors.

Words upon the walk, gap between rich and poor.


So it goes, every day, I pass the time.

Three bucks for a pint, then into the park

to party with pill heads, sipping my wine.

They roust us all out exactly at dark.

I go crash on cardboard, no easy mark.

I dream my boy dreams, Spike does his dog thing.

Hungry, stiff, we awaken at dawn, sparking.


I rub my eyes, cock my head, cogitate,

awaiting the travelers’ and writers’ muse,

bright Hermes. Slowed by weed, no doubt, he’s late.

But there he is, wafting down on a breeze

with a diaphanous Crustette, his squeeze!

My marker flies across virgin cardboard,

and voila, a chef d’oeuvre, rich and rare.

This should open their eff-ing wallets. Yeah!


One more victim of parental abuse

Has washed up on the shores of your city.

Cash for food or a room? No drugs, no booze!

Today’s my sixteenth birthday. Take pity

On a boy more sinned against than sinning.

God loves the cheerful giver –that means you!

Put yourself in my shoes. You fucked up, too?

And check this out, friend! We’re many, you’re few.

Ron Singer