when I sat as a sideliner observing the renegades
pushing around Astor Place like a swarm of
sweaty ants thirsting around a sugar cube.
Hot days & hot nights, pushing & pushing
skating switch until a triumphant roll away
shouted in slow motion, “Ahhh! Doooope!”
The way I was when I noticed a few
had stopped pushing, picked like
ripe papayas for the Kids movie,
while the Washington Square Park pack
kept pushing for a shred of mastery
seen in Trilogy or 20 Shot Sequence.
The way I was when they listened to
Wu-Tang’s violins & sword tongues;
Wu steered their impetus to look smooth
like Keenan Milton but Gino’s grand Genius
entrance in all its ghostly vapors, haunted
their subconscious in the end.
The way I was when I fled the pushing –
a seeker on a mission banging the concrete
like he who Casts No Shadow, strutting in Clarks
Wallabees on misty velvet mornings spiraling down
the road like an ancient Celtic ruin. I wandered & pushed
through Birmingham and London en route to The Monarch
for all-nighters, grinning in sympathy for the devil.
The way I was when we dressed like a pack of
Pam Coursons and Ian Browns stomping in evangelical
worship to a ’60s mod revival; Paul tapped his Clarks
to the beat banging his drums better than Baker; and on
we went to Snobs in Birmingham City Centre for another all-nighter
banging worn wooden floors when Dan vomited in front of a cab
and Emma dexterously rubbed his back while holding two pork pies.
The way I was when I left England mocking time while regaining it
crossing the Atlantic never supposing the day would come when
the joke would be on me, 2016 style: A mortgage, an arduous 9 to 5,
auto-pay sucking the teat of my bank account; and here I sit listening
to Syd sing it’s no good trying struggling to understand the sequin fan
that sped life to where when clings like static to The Way I Was.
Nancy Iannucci is a historian who teaches history and lives poetry in Troy, NY. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Amaryllis, Three Line Poetry, Fickle Muses, Red Wolf Journal, Rose Red Review, Faerie Magazine (FB photography), Three Drops from a Cauldron, Mirror Dance, Pankhearst, Yellow Chair Review, and was a winner of Yellow Chair Review’s Rock the Chair poetry challenge.