I used to have the coolest dark blue mechanic shirt
From a thrift store that died into a ﬂorist on believe it or not
It had “Mr. Valentine” in script, over the front pocket
and I wore it out
and girls would ask
‘And are you Mr. Valentine?’
And I’d say no, do you know him?
and they’d laugh, ‘no why?’
I am a just a fake mechanic then
with a blue valentine lie
dressed in lovely used rags . . .
--Lee Kostrinsky, from WHY PAT COOKS
from "At Last"
I don’t know about her life
on the verge of surrender
to a young bed
or old easy chair.
Porgy and Bess-like in Brooklyn,
she stops me dead on the street,
takes my hand to ask,
What are we doing?
I don’t know.
I consult the runes of Etta James,
in love with a married man
when she sang,
my lonely days are over
and life is just
a poem, shorter than it seems,
her melody, a spogliarello,
a strip tease baring the bloody heart
--George Guida, from NEW YORK AND OTHER LOVERS