First Light (On the Lower East Side)

from by Lee Foust

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about

Friendship as reflected in two bars, one in SF and one in NYC.

lyrics

FIRST LIGHT (On the Lower East Side)

(for M. E.)


Amber shadows shouldering old rememberers lost songs sold for beers and memories some long slow tolling’s goal ago when I saw my hand write you over. That was all stolen then, in the leathery scent of tense longing and all the haloes that pain laid like palm leaves into our bohemian hands. The behemoth wish to lose this tune for a listener goes away now in the quiet show I’m watching in my own melancholy and fear.

Turn the page, washing blue and gaping in the ruts and up onto the reefs of things to do tomorrow, forgetting again the grins and derisions of this now. This now is screaming too, enamored of its own remembering. Twilight beers in the glass brick glow of the Marz Bar take me upstairs to Vesuvio’s where I mapped the sensate world in loud pages of love—and cupping faith in a sculptor’s scarred palms, I let that liquid world seep into my shriveled fingers while the rest went down the drain with the bathwater.

We all live through others’ vile laws, act and are acted upon, player pianos whispering in the arctic draft of fate and, simply, the way things are done here. But Anchor Steam and Rolling Rock kept us running in place, asleep in each other’s beds but certain that affection and affectation’s faked fashion would be crushed in our embrace. ‘Cause we made stories happen upon their split personalities and they resented it when the climaxes caught up with them… didn’t we?


5/30/1996
NYC

credits

from Sputnik, released March 11, 2016

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about

Lee Foust Florence, Italy

Lee Foust is an author and performer from Oakland, California who has lived in Florence, Italy since the mid-1990s. He teaches for various US universities abroad and is the father of one. Lee is the author of Sojourner, a collection of short stories and poems about the mystery of place, and Poison and Antidote, 9 Bohemian tales of San Francisco during the Reagan era. ... more

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