Safe Already

by Jeff Glovsky

They climb aboard at 49th Street.  “Moe” and his two stooge companions, rocking the train with loud, garrulous poses…Assertively, spread-legged to keep their balance, the three commence shouting and sharing their work day:  “Wait, we’re going downtown or uptown now?”

“Downtown,” one of the others responds.

“This is which train?”

“The R”.

The third of this astute triumverate adds, “If you learn anything on this job, know where you are,” he emphasizes.  “Always.”

“I’m Moe!” the rookie cop responds, laughing.  “That’s all I know.”



by Jeff Glovsky

As I write, there is a noisy, messy creature tearing agitatedly through her homeless bag.

I want to take her photograph.  I want to steal that bag and take time sifting through its contents:  How did she become this way?  Where did those belongings come from?  Apparently of enough sentiment to her (tethered to some better days?), so that she wrestles and tears through them, agitatedly.

Hopeful still, she wakes each day.  Maybe prays, finds some comfort, a warm cup of dignity…

I steal her soul, but it’s not exploitation.

Coffee Sounds

by Jeff Glovsky

Underground… feeling heat in the furious subway.  Flipping through a candy rack and trying not to deal.  I buy a pack of gum and turn to see what kind of juice there is.

I hear come up behind me, as I stare into the cooler now, a pack (or two or three, at least) of pissed off, sudden voices.  Angry voices…

Daunting voices.  Haunting, loudly overlapping voices…Countershouts in Arabic:  strong desert protestations.  “Fuck!” cuts through, then “nigger”… then the whumph of impacted, cracking flesh.  A muffled ‘pop’ next, silence, running… metal pounding to the floor.

… Go over.  Blood pools, train comes, goes… A thermos cup of coffee cools beside a stack of crackers.


Could … ?

by Jeff Glovsky

Will you really stare, my love?  Like you expect I’ll give my seat up?  Do you really think I’m interested in how your feet are faring?

You might contemplate removal of your eyes from off my shoulders; weight oppresses me, and I’m not moving…I’ve not finished eating yet.

My coffee’s not quite cold.

You’re cool, though…got it going on!  Aware at least of how to seem in public, what to be, and wear…Might like you.

…Do you really stare?

Just Got Here

by Jeff Glovsky

She tries to concentrate.  She’s got her book and glass of vino…She sips languidly, though, someplace else.  She laughs, and then she shakes her head.

Her book tents on the table now.  She’s pissed ’cause she can’t smoke here.  She’s all furious, and looking for someone to turn her anger on.  He’ll do, she seems to reckon…Turns and snipes his way unsexily.

He listens for a minute, smiling.

Senses his mistake, and leaves.


(Crash) Landing

by Jeff Glovsky

The crisp air snaps pretty and mightily…Through my teeth, I can feel it slice my skin.  Icy tingles, tense nerve endings, terrible shivers…

I ask how you can wear a skirt.

You ignore me.  That’s your prerogative.  You cross your thighs, apply some makeup…Purse your lips and paint and blush.

We rise when the boat docks (you uncross your thighs)…I say, “Have a nice day.  Keep warm (or try)!”

You smile dryly.  “Thanks,” you sigh, and rush off.

…your prerogative.



by Jeff Glovsky

Now why won’t you move your bag to the side?

Your bag, planted largely to your side, beside you, prevents me from trying to feel welcome.  I’d like to sit down, rest my feet for a minute.  Take a load off, get to know you…

Is that even possible?

Or not:  might not want to ‘bother’ you!  Engage you in intercourse, social or otherwise…Might just like to sit in peace.  Like you do.

…That’s not possible?




by Jeff Glovsky

You storm down the street, you’ve got your cellphone on.  Just pasted there, upon your face!  On hold, apparently, not talking…

Listening?  Or just a cover?  Masking emptiness, aloneness…Screaming rudeness, anyway!  Your fear drips…vulnerability…

Frustration:  Lack of interest.  Human contact, touch, communication…

I follow you regardless.

Just to listen what you have to say (what depths of conversation!).  Make an effort.  Try and look, to smile…maybe even say ‘hello’ (make eye contact, imagine!).

You were nice once.  Friendly.  It was “courtesy”, remember?

Once…when “boys” were an anathema, and men did not disturb you…



by Jeff Glovsky

The shouts continue.

“Extra caramel macchiato!”.  “Grande, triple latte chai!”.  “A ‘skinny’ decaf Frap, light ice!”.

“…three ‘pumps’, with extra ‘room’ please?”

And nobody’s embarrassed!

All these selfish inhalations, spoiled preferences, demands.  How do they purge themselves?  Expel such waste?

The stupid, herd-like slobs!  All waiting docilely in line for “coffee”…filling up the popcorn store (…a ‘popcorn store’!), the yogurt shops…

“Can I just…taste…the peanut butter pecan fudge?”, rude tongue and hands out.

Friday afternoons through Monday.  Most nights through the week!  I watch them preen and prate, and sate themselves…

Thank God I date alone.


by Jeff Glovsky

“Oh, so you like that TV?” he asks…squeezing so his bad chicken breath’s tight behind her.

She whirls to face the foul offender.  Sees he’s a cop, or a guard of some sort.  “Hi,” she feels compelled to say; then leave her window shopping…

Forced to scurry away down Broadway.

At another intersection, yet another interruption:  stops and plants himself mid-sidewalk, turns and mumbles to the pair of single legs strolling behind him.  Asks her, “What you said?”

…Apparently, he ‘doesn’t hear her’.  Doesn’t hear the silence…

“Oh, I thought…”, as she bumps into him.

You thought?  C’mon man!  Costumed bozo!  What she said, be “You at work now.  You can’t talk, or hit on me!  I might pass by this way a little later, at the end of your eight or ten hour ‘beat’, who knows…

“But lose that uniform!”