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.”

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.


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?



Spun, Helpless

by Jeff Glovsky

He’s becoming agitated.

At the coffee shop, with actors, students, dates and kids…the occasional businessman or two, some pets …

He’s becoming agitated.

I see him build over cappuccino; watch him rev up like a helicopter:  Mumble to himself, then start to rock, and roll his arms and shoulders … flap his arms and hands, slow, mumbled speech-like first, then faster … Flapping, revving.

Like a helicopter.

Now his mumbled speech grows louder.  “No, no, that’s alright, alright!”  He’s mumbling faster, louder now …

The selfish become agitated.  Halt their conversations temporarily, put their cellphones down … sly looks and nervous glances; ply each other questioningly.  Smug, good-natured sighs of being rousted from their i-dreams …

His dreams grow fevered.  Eyes wide,  “It’s alright!,” he cries.  “I don’t … you don’t … CARE about me!”

Stands up, flapping at his trousers … beating on his belt and on his fly until his pants come down … bends over, pulls them …

Peels off his shirt and stands there naked.

Now the selfish start to file out … their quiet times and coffee flavors ruined for this day.  A little “manager” appears from nowhere.  Shuffles in his skinny tie and pants to where the guy is standing — flapping, babbling nakedly and singing now, and free — and stands beside him, smirking out and staring, hovering …

Like a helicopter.

Needing Attention

by Jeff Glovsky

She stumbles down the street, she’s drunk a little … Got her night clothes on.  Dressed tightly, nightly … Mumbling to herself, and looks pissed off a little.

… At least, I rejoice, she’s not selfishly bugging her friends on some terrible cell phone.  I threw mine away!  “Smart” rings and tones … invasive temptation to need, and cling …

I sing!

Now she seems to be stumbling alone

Without warning, she shoulders around to face me.  “Are you following me?” she fairly howls.

Scared, I actually start a little … Catch my wits, and sidle up to her.  “Am I following you?  No, why?” I ask.

“Stop staring at my ass!” she grins, half mumbles to herself …