Midnight in New York by Matt Duggan

I’m not wiping sweat from my forehead
but cobwebs from the metal ferns;
I appear to be drunk on 23rd street
having forgot the name of my hotel again;
I see the scaffolds around famous Chelsea
her velvet claws sticking out
like the hotels sharpened teeth dripping blood
onto fire hydrants and the busy streets below;

I talk with bar-men who speak with two accents
yellow cabs pierce tall smoky traffic queues
I hear a city that never sleeps whisper to me
down blocks of red brick and repetition of basket-ball parks
where the smell of Cinnamon from a Deli drifts
next to an Irish pub cooking fresh chowder—
breathe in the smell and break the chains of morning;
I hear a city that never sleeps whisper to me, it’s time for bed.

Photo by Oliver Cole

Photo by Oliver Cole

Matt Duggan’s poems have appeared in The Journal, Into the Void, Lakeview International Literary Journal, Osiris Poetry Journal. Matt won the Erbacce Prize for Poetry in 2015 with his first full collection Dystopia 38.10 (erbacce-press) and the Into the Void Poetry Prize in 2016. He has a new chapbook out called A Season in Another World (Thirty West Publishing House) and has just returned from a reading tour along the East Coast of the U.S., including Philadelphia, Boston and New York, where he wrote this poem. 

Follow Matt Duggan on Twitter.

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