poetics unleashed: bill carney


pulaski skyway: portal to heaven

I have seen them flying across the skyway:
Apollos, Centurions, Rivieras, and Celebrities,
high over New Jersey,
Ascending Heavenward,
To New Ark, Harrisons, the Oranges, Kearney.
blazing like the red eagle
above the Budweiser factory,
like the multicolored
peace sign of Newark Airport,
communicating love
to all who will submit
to the Port Authorities of
New York and New Jersey.

Free above the container yards,
and the labyrinthine prosody
of Truck Route One and Nine,
Jersey’s least glamorous artery,
a Polish arrow through the heart of Jersey,
a cast iron rainbow
spanning the swamps
of Bayonne and the crazed patchwork
of stock and rail yards, depots and dumps
some wiseguy named Hoffa dubbed the Meadowlands,
some phony euphony like Greenland,
neither meadow nor land.

Not a bridge
but a sky way
worthy of the name
an expatriate hero
of the first rank,
like Lafayette, Von Steuben, and Kosciusko,
Count Casimir,
our beloved revolutionary hero.
not some two-bit ganster,
who grew up nearby,
like old blue eyes.
He could never fly
me to the moon.
Only idle away his days
on some aptly-named Parkway,
far from blue heaven.
No Bruce Skyway,
Nouveau Jersey’s most celebrated vulgarian,
who could never have soared among the steel spans,
but remains somewhere in a swamp in Jersey,
far from the poetry of either skyway or Pulaski,
connecting us to the US continent
across the swamps of Jersey.


echo tourism

When I busted out of Sing Sing
With all that riff raff
I took a boat to Bora Bora
dancing a cha cha with some yoyo of a gogo dancer
who was so so
and her mama
until dawn
with the tse tse
flies buggin me to go bye bye by and by
with some dodo to pago Pago
a place of untold mystery to me
who left there immediately after a mao mao
uprising in Kansas City, Kansas, City
of steaks, and a can can
dancer named Fifi
who did a no no with her chow chow in Walla Walla
but it’s all hush hush
here I come,
back, back
to you
New York, New York
again and again.



Originally published:
Issue Five
January 2001


Bill Carney is a founding member and contributing editor to the late, lamented Lurch Magazine. He is also the leader of not one but two renowned New York City bands: Les Sans Culottes and Bill Carney’s Jug Addicts. In addition to his many literary and musical endeavors, he maintains membership in several secret societies and is a master when it comes to cooking with curry. More from Bill Carney can be found in the Vault of Smoke.

Comments are closed.