Death in the Village

I am awash in wicked intent

swimming with the Village light,

like my brown three quarter boots

with the snow that chills my lungs

as I filter the city’s collective

exhaust, expelling labored sighs.

NYU undergrads still score

smoke in the Square, wear

overcoats and flip flops

with soppy wet socks stretched

taut by rubber thongs, knowing

cops hate cold more than pot.

Winter clad lost tourists, snow

colored, muddle up MacDougal.

Das weise, west down 4th

spyingstorefronts and doorways

for real jazzmusik, not knowing this

is where capitalism killed free jazz.

St. Mark’s gift shop, Bowery gentry,

supplanted the hop-head hustlers,

flophouses, and bedroom alleys.

A world, victim of a newer economy

with no taste or time for idle

real estate and ever less for the idle.

Dragging in my crisp-frozen

coat I match-steps in the Germans’

tracks back toward Panchito’s

to people watch in warmth, eat chips

with fresh picante, drink Cerveza,

and disremember what’s been mislaid.

Later, on Bleeker, I pause to look up.

Blinked snowflakes blur buildings,

hint that a glimpse of what I seek

lies just beyond discovery, where

a car passing through slushy streets

can still inspire a scintillating shudder.

Opposite the Path on Christopher Street,

St. Luke, in complacent quiescence,

appraises the triumphant alteration

from within his winter-rotted gardens,

as I withdraw into Hoboken to endure

the remains of my visible existence.

 © 2010 Jay Decker all rights reserved

Comments 9 comments

couturepopcafe profile image

couturepopcafe 6 years ago

Hey Jersey boy - as I walked around the city with you, I missed Manhatten mightily. Especially liked the bit about Bowery gentry and the suprise ending back in Hoboken (where both my parents were born two block from each other though they didn't meet until they both moved out sometime before WWII) Voted up and awesome. I re-read it. Didn't get the reference to the "Village" in the first stanza the first time and just thought it was a generic reference. In context, of course, well done.

JayDeck profile image

JayDeck 6 years ago from New Jersey Author

Couture- Thank you so much for visiting! I should tell you that I was inspired by arrowsparrow and this hub:

I often think about the changes Manhattan has undergone and wonder how much, of what I knew the city to be, has been lost to progress.


sligobay profile image

sligobay 6 years ago from east of the equator

hey J- I went to HS in Manhatten and I enjoyed the nostalgic trek back with you in time. NY is the last place to remain static. I no longer "disremember what's been mislaid" but enjoyed the image. To withdraw to Hoboken is one thing but " to endure what remains of my visible existence" sounds somewhat despondent. Stay well.

Tony DeLorger 6 years ago

Very descriptive and emotive, Jay. Being and Aussie, I enjoyed the tour.

Mrs. J. B. profile image

Mrs. J. B. 6 years ago from Southern California

Being from Boston, I truly enjoyed this. Thank You.

JayDeck profile image

JayDeck 5 years ago from New Jersey Author

Thanks J.B. I've been away for awhile and it was nice to come back to your kind words.


ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 5 years ago from Lagos

A great description of your place. Great poem. Love the diction and choice of words used. Bless you

JayDeck profile image

JayDeck 4 years ago from New Jersey Author

Thanks so much uban! Bless you as well!


epigramman profile image

epigramman 3 years ago

Good morning Sir Jay from Colin and his cats at lake erie time ontario canada 8:13am and this is a New York poem if I ever read one - you would make Lou Reed happy with these words - and they conjured up evocative images in my head with a jazz beat and with the craft of a writer at the top of his game. So nice to meet you my friend and how has your winter been so far? What kind of music do you listen to - because I hear/see/read a lot of music in this very fine piece.

Sending warm wishes to you and a high five from Canada.

I remember seeing the dress rehearsal and the live show of SNL back in 1978 - the trip of a lifetime. Loved the Village too - saw Dr. John there.

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