Poetry by Tony O'Neill |

Men of Good Fourtune

I saw a dope fiend
whoring for change in Stromboli’s
on 1st and St Marks
today. He sniffed and
shivered then
offered to do a trick for $5
in his desperate, whining, pleading voice

the fat monster
behind the counter wiped his mustache
with a greasy hand
and threw the five on the counter

the kid got down
on the floor, placed his ankles
behind his head, stood on his
hands and slowly rotated

a bum with missing teeth
chewing on a slice
started to clap
but nobody joined in:
it seemed a little sad
I suppose, so he slowly stopped

the guy unfurled
like some tattooed, dope sick
junkie yogi, took the five
and split to score

Can you believe that fuck?
every day he come-a in here
doing tricks like some kinda
clown monkey for drug-a money

and to think!
he’s-a one of the Gambini boys!

well, no shit
I watched him hustle
towards Tompkins Square Park
away from his benefactor
and the clapping bum and me watching silently

away from the pizza joint
and the responsibility
of an infamous name

and on to the patch of dirt
in between the tenements and the boutiques
where he was king
on his own terms
where his infamous name
meant less than the
dog shit
on the sidewalks

Tony O’Neill
lives in New York where he works odd jobs and writes. His autobiographical novel “DIGGING THE VEIN” was published in Feb 2006. A volume of poetry, “SONGS FROM THE SHOOTING GALLERY” is slated for a spring 2007 release on Burning Shore Press. Read more work from Tony at: http://www.tonyoneill.net/.

>>>>The CommonLine Interview: Author Tony O'Neill>>>>