Aesthetic Realism Looks at New York City: Poetry


Eli Siegel


Love Lurches Along

In love, you don't know what you're getting in Elizabeth, N.J.,
And you don't know what you're getting in Pottstown, Pa.
So why should New York be different?
Since when was New York heavensent?

See you tomorrow, if I can make it, dear.
So you don't want to see me; I could have known it long ago.
Not tonight, Elmer, I just don't feel like it.
You won't get the children if I can help it.
Good night.
You see, I got a boy friend.
What's happening to us?
Don't you think you should see somebody about it?
You're breaking my arm.
What is that stuff you're wearing, Grace, it's something.

Love goes on merrily,
Goes on wearily.
Sixth Avenue had an L,
Now it hasn't.
Edith had James,
Now she hasn't.

Valises, Kinsey Reports, grass.
Central Park, Prospect Park, calls.
Visits, embraces, and stalls.
Oh, what's the matter? alas!
John O'Hara and the blue sky,
There still must be a reason why.

Mystery goes on in Pottstown, Pa.
The same goes on in Elizabeth, N.J.
New York is a little more recherché,
But mystery's there in the same damn way.

From Hot Afternoons Have Been in Montana: Poems (Definition Press)
© 1957 by Eli Siegel