East Village, January 1978

Reuben Gelley Newman

for Arthur Russell

Steven Hall lounges on the stoop, his tall frame stretched like a cat’s in the sun, poems in his
          right hand and a joint in his left—

still the boy you asked to fuck when you first met, still the handsome devil—but enough of that,
          you lift him up by the arm, such a warm day, such hot guys

Steven: You just can’t get over them, can you? And he’s right, there’s a blur of boys at the clubs,
          each one prettier than the last, but here’s Steven,

ambling along with his sleeves rolled up, talking about some new poem of Allen’s. Oh, yeah,
          you have a gig tonight,

you and Steven and Peter—Allen’s lover—at the Poetry Project, it’s Public Access Poetry,
          you’ll be on live TV!

Steven: His new book’s Clean Asshole Poems & Smiling Vegetable Songs, and that’s so typical
          Peter—but hey, who doesn’t like a clean asshole?

At the candy store, you buy a nickel bag—at home, you get stoned and fool around on guitar—
          and before you know it

the church clock chimes 6:00 and you’re rushing to St. Mark’s in a winter coat to rehearse—
          man, how did it get so cold all of a sudden—and then

the camera’s on and Peter’s reading and it’s time for the songs, Peter picking at a banjo, Steven
          groping his guitar, you plying your cello like a bass—

wide-legged, jamming along. Peter: Raspberry jam with LSD at breakfast time—Oh my dildo,
          my sweet dildo,

and you’ll go to the Paradise Garage later, groove to disco and loosen up to a boy’s fickle mouth,
          find some sweet cock yourself—


Reuben Gelley Newman (he/him) is a writer, musician, and library worker based in Brooklyn. His poems are available or forthcoming in diode, The Fairy Tale Review, The Journal, Moist Poetry Journal, Alien Magazine, Rejection Letters, and elsewhere. A Content Editor at The Adroit Journal and a Co-Editor at Couplet Poetry, he tweets @joustingsnail.

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