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.”

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…


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…


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?”


“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!”