Christmas in Manhattan
’Twas on Christmas morning, after working all night
I walked through New York City, and to my great fright
I found that although it’s not normally so,
the whiskey bars were all closed, oh where would I go?
The “city that never sleeps” stood silent and gray,
the garbage lay heaped while the rats munched away.
Two hours before in-laws, kids, presents galore
I had a small bit of me-time, mere dight, naught more—
No diner was open, no tapas, no dimsum,
no hookah, no dancah, no crack-blinded vixen—
At least from the bodega’s Christmas Eve sale
I’d bought two cans of Foster’s (some loosely call ale).
“Alas,” I sighed as I drank the beer in,
“I wish it was bourbon, but at least it’s not gin.”
Then who should step out of Port Authority’s glow,
A white bearded man with a shiny red nose—
His dress looked quite odd, old fashioned and furry,
with a sack on his back and laughter all slurry.
Is he real, I wondered, or perhaps a he’s a ghost—
“Allen Ginsberg!” I cried, and gave him a toast.
“No dice,” he answered. “Just down on my luck.
Just an old homeless vet. You got a buck?”
Whether truth or a lie there was no way to tell,
then I shrugged, cracked a beer and said, “What the hell.”
I handed it over, he gave me a smoke,
“So much for sleepless,” I said. “What a joke.”
“Maybe,” he said. He puffed, then he whispered,
“Around here sleepless means something a little bit different.”
He pointed then upward, through the gloom and the blur,
spoke he again with a deepening slur:
“The high rises loom like dark marionettes,
carving lies into hungers upon streets that are DEAD.”
Ho! Ho! Ho! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!