nyc smog
Manhattan, June 7 2023. Source: NYT/AP

My father used to sing to me everytime i go to sleep and now i am singing this song to him because he didn’t wake up anymore. ~anonymous comment, from a YouTube No Woman No Cry vid.

If your world was something once, what is it now?

Where you rich or were you poor?

And now you look around, and you see darkness descending.

You think back.

Do you remember the bird that flew away because you needed to brush your teeth?

So close it was you two were.

So close.

And then she walked… with another man, in your place — as the song goes.

You saw her…

in front of the Rathskeller at the University of Albany as they walked


in front of you.

the short, weasel-faced Iranian dickhead who took her away

Mary O’Shanty.  her slut sister was called Margaret.

dorm Albany State
I lived here the year a girl jumped from the tower

This sister lived in Indian Quad, and one night just before she broke it off Mary said come over, and so I went to visit, and we slept together all night, but did not fuck, and after, i woke up early, and I thought my breath smelled, from the beer drinking and the grass, too much of a trenchtown mouth to make out again or start doing it, but she said stay, stay with me, stay she said, her lithe, graceful body naked beside me, and we were on the upper bunk of a dorm room layed out for 3, and I said no, I have to go, I have to brush my teeth, I said, hygienically speaking, and then I went, leaving her there with her sister and a roomate sleeping in the beds below.

And then, I dont know, I  remember sitting with Mary, who had my mother’s name, who was Irish, when I only dated Irish girls, in her baby blue VW beetle parked in State Quad parking lot at SUNYA.

and now this

so betrayed

Mary O’Shanty from Latham, or perhaps was it Cohoes, you broke my heart

in front of all the hypocrites, observed

and for some absurd reason, I still have the 16mm roll of film I took of you arty posing in a snowy graveryard in Albany that winter, you who took my Film Professor’s breath away with your beauty, the one who agreed, to let us have that university film course (which he taught) Bolex camera for a weekend

Maybe I will publish a frame or two.

And if you ever see them, an unlikely proposition, you might even remember what we were.

I remember where we used to sit, by the big fountain, in front of the Minerva library, where I first met you.

A lifetime ago.

And you might ask yourself, should I have done it?

Did you make the better choice?

Did you end up with lots of Persian-Gaelic children?

Or even just one?

Or none at all.

Just some sordid divorce, a decade or two later.

smiley with glasses