Tag Archive: New York City

chagall backdrop

I was born, the fifties, New York City,
though I wish I’d grown up in a small town,
near a stream perhaps, water racing down,
I’d embrace that life with alacrity.
I’m sure though I’d display tenacity,
right after donning high school’s cap and gown,
to move north to the urban sprawl or drown,
bright lights appeal to my insanity.
They’d chew me up, innocent from the grotto,
break me down, leave me sad and despondent,
unable to cope, keep up with the pace.
No, better to have grown in the ghetto,
a six-story walk-up, a tenement,
nothing to sacrifice, no loss of grace.

© Carlos Chagall, 2013

My Carnegie Deli Order

What’ll you have?
I’ll take a Scarlett Johansson, a Liv Tyler, and a Linda Fiorentino . . .
no make that an Annabella Sciorra.

Lettuce, tomato?
No, nothing on them.

To go or for stay?
For here; I’ll eat them here.

Okay, number 15.
Oh, and a Kirstie Alley to go please, extra cheese, extra mayo.

Sure, why not. And throw in extra napkins.

© Chicheme, 2013

Haiku For The Watchers

chagall backdrop

Thousands of strange lights,
an armada of seers,
protecting the point.

© Carlos Chagall, 2013


You look so familiar under the brim,
sun-warmed straw hat,
Panama Blue, foamed
white clouds, nothing but

Tan sand warm,
cinnamon, toast.
Sweet samba,
how you walk!
Swept, spectacular buttocks,
on the upswing,

You can never have enough limes:
repeat that three times.
I’ll wait . . .

I cut you off at the sink,
and we dance a quick
1-2 and
end in a kiss
to punctuate the up-beat,
the turnaround.

You break, your own time,
to whirl barefoot
on terracotta,
snap you fingers, close your eyes,
shake, rattle, roll,
in private, pondering,
your own reverie.

I gulp big palmfuls
of healing water,
cold ladles of quenching, drench
over parched tongue,
lips and palette.

I twirl you
in white rooms,
underneath silks,
wound up like a top,
in emerald,
teal and rose.

I pull your puffy lips
with my own, release,
they snap back,
emboldened, laden with
blood, alive.

Your frame,
head through neck,
wriggly shoulders,
down the curve of sides,
meringue hips.

Swing, long body!
In the wind, in the night,
lean and pose,
poise, stretch
tight, grace,
ease into a self-arc.

You are a time from before,
you bring me back
to salty winds,
high spires in glare,
too bright
to bear.

Surf, roll over me,
endless slow shoosh
of shaving cream
echoes, royal.

You, like a shark,
swimming the surface,
under deep violet skies.

Cutting your arms
in perfect vees,
all along the waterlne.

as if floating on air.

© Carlos Chagall, 2013

To Those

The earth shook,
rumbled steady roll,
like the subway leaving Chambers,

heading for the Center,
sky turned night, came down.

soft quiet,
snowfall, deserted

ancient Manhattan,
the southern tip,
where east meets west

at a point
where neither

is what it was,

along gaslight streets,
immigrants stroll,
sing silent carols,

forbidden hymns
for fallen angels.

© Carlos Chagall, 2013

Sebastien Greco, vocals
Carlos Chagall, guitars
DD Rivera, bass
Papo Cuadrado, percussion

Words & Music – Carlos Chagall, 2013
Just this side of spoken word – near beatnik
– to all those who remember the Shower House – for Johnny W.

Her Real Name

Angie Wasabi, is that her real name?

No, what are you, out of your frigging mind?
We call her that ’cause she’s hot and spicy.

Once she tied me up with my cummerbund,
after we hit the town in black and white.

She even drew blood with her diamond studs.
It’s all good; afterwards we made pasta.

She can do knuckle pushups on one arm,
while doing leg scissors from the waist down.

Talent like this comes along once in life.
Her dead daddy used to own a dojo

off Delancey Street, near Katz’s Deli.
I think I’m in love Carlos. She’s the one.

© Carlos Chagall, 2013

This was the very first post to Alphabet City in March.  We reissue it here as music set to poetry.  Sebastien and Chloe on vocals, along with the usual suspects playing behind them.  We are having fun here this wonderful April evening outside of NYC, 2013, planet Earth; hope you are doing the same.

I'm a wire thin warrior on rooftops in starlight.
Red-shifted from eons up alleys, down fire escapes.
Black and white flickers from Telstar,
from before the flood, but after the mad dash.

Back in the day, on Eleventh and A, 
who knew we were in Alphabet City?

Or that Twelfth and D would be the place to be?

On Tenth and First we'd quench our thirst
with piragüa in July, coquito in June,
from the little man with the blue pushcart 
and the green balloon.

So much love, so much heart, so sweet, 
so right, see you 
on the corner tonight.

Oyeme mulata!
Che che colé, 
que bueno e'?

Chicheme, March 2013
© Carlos Chagall, April 2013

Band is spending some time with Chloe and her mom outside NYC, up in Danbury CT. Here’s our contribution to the morning, a cover of John Mayer’s Clarity. Hope you like it. Sebastien Greco on vocals and rhythm. Me on guitar. Papo playing bongo on the back of a guitar! Dede playing this funky looking guitar/bass thigamajig. Hope you like it. As always, Sebastien Eric wanted to do another take, and probably another one after that, but we said, you know what dude, good enough for now. Hope you enjoy.

Point Sienna

From the beach to our summer house, you left
dark gray and barefoot prints disappearing,
a pace of one gone, every four you took,
evaporating there in the hot sun,
baking the pavement, in visible mist,
fully rendered, pointillistic, then gone …
Poof! I’m amazed you didn’t burn your soles.

You draped your long body exotically
with a wrap of sea greens, aquas, sun golds,
backdrop to the blue heather of your eyes.
Earlier, at the ocean pretending
we were the first to arrive here, this bank,
this coast side, this planet, this time around,
you turned to point, fins skimming the surface,

then turned to me, your face filled with waiting
my response, but I’d not heard the question,
as waves consumed your voice and I’ve wondered
what it was exactly you said that day.

She searches for sea shells, slowly combs sands,
then wades out waist-high; the surf erases
yesterdays’ traces, and less is no more.
She, it’s just she, shucking shells by the shore.

© Carlos Chagall, 2013

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