Wednesday, May 14, 2014

HOWL!

And so I just happen to have one of those 1st Annual FEVA, Federation of East Village Artists, HOWL! Festival of East Village Arts The HOWL! Souvenir Books lying around that I must have gotten from Tompkins Square Park years ago, that park that finds itself somewhat infamous for that 1988 Tompkins Square Park Riot that had squatters, the homeless and everyone in between running to and/or from the police that had something to do with a curfew in that park that finds itself in the Lower East Side now called the East Village for real estate marketing purposes maybe, in that city of New York.  And so this souvenir book is really cool with its East Village culture of life and history in that neighborhood during those times. And along with that Long Live The Lower East Side poem that finds itself in this book, here is another one of the many poems and photos that finds themselves in this book also that I thought interesting to post on this blog. Free the land. Squat the world.

1966/2003

the Lower East Side/ the East Village
ethnic neighborhood/style magnet
Ukrainians, Poles, Puerto Ricans and Blacks/ -, -, - and - 
flocks of babushkas/clouds of green ringlets
strung our junkies/tranced out tourists

burned out buildings/luxury ghetto
shoebox apt $217 a month/shoebox apt. $2175 a month
there goes the neighborhood/ there goes the planet
obvious potheads/invisible alcoholics
serious yippies/secret yuppies 
the Peace Eye Bookstore/Barnes and Noble
pierogis/ raw food
xerox magazines/online entities

"US out of Vietnam!"/"US out of Iraq!"
age of innocence/age of experience
embrace the beautiful stranger/embrace the ghostly clone
acid dreams/health club mornings
who was I then?/what am I now?
(the view from the tarry roof goes on and on)

dancers in the streets/students in the dorms
danger and mystery/crowding and noise
Filmore East and the Dom/great choice of multiplexes
Leshko's/Leshko's
angel-headed hipsters/angel headed hipsters
free love/free anytime minutes
many little mom and pop stores/one big NYU

BUT STILL: 
the Lower East Side/ the East Village
one and the same poets and painters and musicians/musicians and painters
and poets
free to be me/free to be you

 FREE TO BE ME BEING YOU

-Michael Brownstein's latest book is World on fire. Open City Books 
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