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.

 

Advertisements

Authorities

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!”

Power Kicks

by Jeff Glovsky

The homeless guy’s asleep on the subway platform.  He doesn’t beg.  He doesn’t speak to anyone:  just lying there, a giant duffel bag of cans beside him, he obstructs, perhaps, the sense-pleasing aesthetic of the subway platform…otherwise, harms no one.

A cop loving his job comes over.  Gun drawn, kicks the homeless gent (though gently), yells at him to beat it.

Grinning, the homeless guy agrees.  “I was just going to,” he slurs, wanting no trouble.  “I was just going to.”

He gets up, shambling to his feet…gets kicked again for good measure, picks up his clanking cans and moves on.  “I was just going to,” the cop repeats after him.

“I was just going to,” he sneers…

Violator

by Jeff Glovsky

“Hey, what’re you doin’ in there?  Jesus Christ!”

He pounds on the door to what looks like a rest room.  “Ya’ doin’ alright in there?”

“…Occupado.”

“I know it’s ‘occupado’, I been waitin’ nearly twenty minutes!  What’re you doin’ in there, f’chrissake?”

“Just a minute (be right out)!”

“Jesus Christ!”

The holy man spins on his heel now…actually does a little dance.  “Jeez,” he sucks under his breath, shakes his head…sort of snorts and seems to stamp a little.

“You stunk up the place!” he hollers, stepping in to take his turn.

I’m Not the Monster

by Jeff Glovsky

The chair tips and the child howls…Bangs its head on the edge of a table.

“HaHaHaHaHA!”, staccato, high-pitched burst of another one.  “That was funny!”

The first child’s in tears.  “Elena!  Sssh!  That wasn’t funny,” Elena’s mother reprimands.  The girl keeps laughing…pulling on her crotch, sucking her fingers, giant, gap-toothed vacant smile…

“HaHaHaHaHA!” it goes.

The mother, afraid of becoming embarrassed, stuffs a pastry in her mouth…pulls a hot swig of her coffee-free barista “drink” and snaps again, “SShhh!  Elena!”

The girl explodes.  Dancelaughing, lapping up the air, red tongue out, clapping happily.  The first child’s mom, embarrassed too, shouts to her child – still crying from banging its head on a table – “Get up!

“What is wrong with you?”

Smacked Down

by Jeff Glovsky

I went around in a woman’s coat one winter.  A leather number … Hourglass-shaped, fur collar and a hanging leather strap, or belt.  I didn’t care!  It kept me warm.  Plus, it was in decent shape.  It didn’t have holes in it … the buttons were all on and the zipper worked … Its owner, before me, used to say it fit her like a glove.

So I’m wearing this ridiculous wrap one winter – and a suede beret, which I found in a hardware store – and this diner guy intimates I’m a fruit.

“You’re a fruit,” he intimates.

No, admittedly, he was a bit more subtle.  Stares for a minute before taking my order; double-takes toward the counter girl, who’s smacking gum and chuckling to herself.  Looks back at me and wisecracks loudly, “He likes girls!”

The counter girl – lust, full-bodily – smacks bawdily, “Ha!  I don’t think so!”

New Season(ed)

by Jeff Glovsky

The snow in April tapers off …

He lightly brushes off his collar, shakes his hood, removes his gloves.  He’s cold still, as he pulls the zipper down on his vast jacket.

Though it’s spring now, he’s got sweaters on.  The first, with hair, and bacon smells, drips heavily above the second:  green and sleeveless, covering a red plaid woolen shirt.  He shrugs the first one off.

Sits down now in his sweater vest … Crosses polyester limbs and orders coffee, and a cup of fruit.

He lights a cigarette and puffs in peace, another morning.

Disgusting

By Jeff Glovsky

Now let’s examine how lives get ruined.

“Want me to hold you?” he asks the fat girl.  Playful, conductor on a train, as it pitches …

All aboard losing their balance a little.

“No, that’s okay!” she smiles off-guard, as the train, rocking, swaying, pulls out of the station.

Now end of the line:  conductor is finishing up his shift.  The fat girl trundles off the train, pokes up some stairs with everyone else.  Conductor notices her, and she him.  Brief grins of friendly recognition … “That offer to hold you’s still good,” he jokes, winking.

She laughs.  Acknowledges the remark.  “Maybe next time!”

Platform empties, train doors close and everything goes about its business.

Now here, we examine how lives get ruined (lawsuits sprung, and wars begun):

I run into her about a week or so later, this same fat chick sitting on some grass.  She’s sitting with a friend, it seems, who’s attractive … got some rollerblades on …

“So he says to me, ‘Can I hold you?'”  Then she smiles; she seems to enjoy the recollection.

I smile too.  It’s indeed the same fat chick!

“I was like, ‘Noooo?‘” this same Fat Chick continues, wrinkling her nose a little bit.

Her friend, though (attractive, with rollerblades on), is thoroughly not feeling or digging the whimsy.  She wrinkles too … only she sucks her nostrils up into her face!  Clucks, “That’s disgusting!”  Clucks again.

The fat chick’s grateful grin and happy recollection freeze frame.  Now “I know!” she’s suddenly concurring.  Encouraged thus, the friend continues, “No!  If I were you?” she buzzkills.  “… I were you?  I’d tell him, ‘That’s disgusting!!'”

“No:  Seriously!  You.  Really.  Are.”  She’s kneeled up before the fat girl … Seizes beefy arms and shoulders, shakes and stares into her eyes.

“He followed me up the stairs,” I hear the fat girl tell a lie.

Disgusting!!”

Fainting

by Jeff Glovsky

The old blonde Russian twists her ankle.

Sits down on the pavement, pulls and strokes it, purring angrily.  Her husband, or maybe the limo driver, tries to make it better; “Let me help you up,” says he.

“No!  I can do it!  Oh … ”

“Magda!”

“I’m fainting!  Leave me be,” says she.

The man extends an arm and hand, and tries to lean while lunging.  Thusly gallant, he stands posed that way:  one foot up, knee bent, on the curb …

She doesn’t take his arm and hand.

As dead as chivalry itself, she stares, and screams again, “I’m fainting!”

NY Night (mid-70s)

by Jeff Glovsky

This city, even under the weight of fat tourists, reeks of thirty years ago:  all the noise and crime and ghetto-blasting; drugs, ill-tempered ugliness … Its beauty become horrible, its awfulness old hat.

Now from a deli, as if to assert this assessment, a middle-aged white guy, fists clenched in a trenchcoat, bleeds onto the naughty pavement followed by three shrieking, young Bronx chicks.  “Fuckin’ white bitch!” among others, these howl … hurling a swirling hot coffee his way.

Turn and watch white guy trip away:  clenched trenchcoat flapping (fists within), tight, birdlike, frightened, in a hurry …

Snort, laugh and cackle, back into their deli!  Laugh and cackle, black and howling …

Nighttime, still another scene:  a car horn bleats and deafens, blared out only by a fire truck.

This fire truck roars on to hell … It finally makes it through the mess of traffic at a stop light; lays off laying on its foghorn finally, fades into a distance …

Cross-fade, back to car horn bleat, still:  frozen at the red light now and seemingly unhappy.  See pedestrians implore the solid noise and cease of silence; shrug “What’s up?” and shout “piss off” and “fuck you!” … Light turns green, the car horn screams still.

…Sails through the intersection, middle finger raised.

And then half-crazed!  The Asian woman clings with unexpected life to her beige duffel bag …

Hear naughty pavement crack and thud; see blood, and feel hair pulled …

She holds on to her dear bag — containing everything, yet nothing — as four others kick it open and fat tourist traffic watches.