Ben Gellman


Hamilton Ave. at 7:00

Listen to the soul on corner cranny
Browned seep of respect
Crisp white tile
T-shirt shimmy
The hood salsa in the fast lane.

Highland Park eve
Dawn won't come until tomorrow
Rags moist at the car wash
Wet forkfuls of chitterling
Barbecue the block

Grandma don't know
That her son's in camouflage
Front line blues back home
In a wicker chair
Tapping her feet to vacant static.



It is cold outside,
The whipped winds echoing
Through a black hole of air.

The rubble of chicory
Sits lonely at the bottom of my glass-
I drank it with the city on my mind.

The fine arts,
The swift lines on Miró's canvas
The ghastly corridors of Midtown.


The city is art in itself,
A woman with beads in her veins,
A child begging for insults.

I saw the world
Through this wilderness,
A vast empire.

And in this café,
Pomp isn't relevant.
Art rules in our minds,

The creative and the literary.
The Goyas and Picassos
Who rule the cup.