42nd Street

42ND STREET

by Bob O’Connor

1961

 

No one’s neonss; neon’s no ones.

Flashbulbs, flesh bulbs.

America’s cameras.

Cocks, Cokes, jocks, jukes, jokes, feds, fads, odds, ids, ads.

Johns, jeans, signs, scenes, comps, camp, pomp, pimps, Pam-Pam’s.

A straight street, waist-deep in deepening waste.

Litterers, loiterers.

A men’s room where dicks hang out in plainclothes and fancy

to be or to buy the image of homage..

A pigeoned pageant:

nervous variants

watch which

chary cherry

gropes groups,

cups cops,

and does dozens,

holding his own.

Trucks, tricks, flux, flicks.

A murky marquee;

a chilled child,

no warmer in no armor;

a rolled, riled,

dorky darky.

Anti-Semtes, Semite aunties

oo-ing and oiling

a staid stud,

sneaking and snaking,

whose clothes enclose

the rude rod

behind zipper teeth;

seamen, semen;

lifers, loafers, leafers through Young Physqiues;

masochists, cruisin’ for a bruisin’;

wedding shirts, wadding shorts;

homophile homelife:

put on your bluejeans, get into the tub;

shrink up tight on the uptight shrink,

the janitor

who’s buying a husband;

the teenager

whose balls are bells;

the capon copain

paying to be pained to see

what his idle idol,

crutch in crotch,

might meet:

reform-schoolboys,

lucubrators, lubricators,

standing studying

mugs in magazines,

slick louts in slack clouts

with a Capucine caption

to seize on what the season’s

good god will look like:

carpe-diem pericardium,

undergarment integument,

a flash of flesh,

and bowels in balls,

modeled on a muddled

film-flam,

rubble without a cause.

who invented a vaunted

slang sling

for pathetic phalluses,

a languor all anger,

taut points on tight pants,

a bored brood,

a practical archetypal

impostor on a poster

sorta fecund on Forty Second,

who tossed at choo brutally statutes of liberty

unscrubbed, inscribed,

“Common, seamy, come ‘n’ see me;

I loft my lump despite the gelding shear.”

Plowboys, playboys, losers, users;

J.D.’s V.D. I.D.;

sailors, sellers, drags, dregs, drugs —

what Mantan can maintain,

fantasy can sanctify;

redneck near-dreck,

cons, coons —

big nigger beginners —

Georgia’s Jesuses,

Iowa’s I.O.U.s,

uptown’s automatons,

a marriage’s mirages,

a school’s skulls,

a bomb’s bums;

a hand-out, a hand on a hard-on; neon

choruses curses:

“a penis upon us,

an anus in us,

a mouth myth.”

The treadmill’s trod miles,

shuffled and reshuffled,

surge with resurgents.

“Ouch!” each

unique eunuch

dreamer of drama

winces once his

habitually arching urchin bitchily

with secret psychiatry

etches each’s

sentiments in cement —

with his concrete song:

“On ‘n’ off ‘n’

Onan often

‘ownin’ offin’

once the shock’s off.

“Osses ooze ‘n’

fosses fuse ‘n’

who says whose

it is he knocks off?

“Your skin tore skin

for skin, or skin

torquesined foreskin

with your socks off.

“Hock-sore cocks or

cock-sore hocks or

locks or blocks,

you got choor rocks off.”

Jokebooks, jukeboxes,

drinks, drunks, dupes, dopes;

the chaingang gangbangs

East Side, West Side, suicide, peroxide.

The Cid walks the sidewalks,

hustles hostels.

The Lord is all lowered eyes

and prominent permanent,

marks marks,

scores scores,

and tours towers

bold ones once built,

following fellahin.

The towers are built.

So is he.

The money is made,

and oh, is he!

Still hoping on to happen onto

Icon or angel? I can arrange it.

Jung manhood’s

yon man who’d

be damned to be dam to

a buddy abutting,

or a nougat Argonaut.

The crop is all croppers,

diverse as divorces.

Sans-culottes in Sunday-school lots

shop around unchaperoned.

Be choosier; choose your

casualty casually.

The doll’ll deal,

the butch go dutch,

Adonis dun us

at most for amosphere.

Be hasty, be hosty;

stock up a Tschaikowski

program for the pogrom,

nice books, an ice-box,

a poem to paw ‘im to,

and Doeskin fo’ the fo’skin

fo’ the askin’.

Mercy, Marcie!

Lower your lights, raise your standards!

Dissenters’ descendants

are putti to put in

possession position.

The street struts.

The boys bow.

Tuck it or take it.

Fuck it or fake it.

A supple supply,

a demoned demand,

a poor P.R.,

an African’s pharynx,

a baby boy becoming common;

a pensioned penchant;

a rupture, a rapture.

Silent rooms inside the noise, noise inside the silent rooms;

green soap grins up;

the sickliest cyclist

to please plays

sucker soccer

with a sobby Seabee.

An innocent in assent

sought a city a

province prevents:

a life aloof,

always all wise.

A look took;

a second sickened;

a turn in town did it; eternity died out;

a Bacchund beckoned;

a weekend awakened;

voyeurs and gulls together foregather; three gather; more gather;

beasts with four legs proliferate;

a thousand-legs was seen of late.

The peephole people

sigh to see

a trenchant transient

semaphore a sophomore

who smutches so much his

tookus takes tokens.

You, you

suede Swede

whore who were

first forced

later loiter

at a meat Automat;

hail the Astor, gone arena, healthiest for gonorrhea,

where they waller, whether well or

not, nights,

and long after their bedtimes.

Threeee prostitutes in their birthday suits

go walking on Broadway at night,

While they are hooking, the cop isn’t looking

because he’s as high as a kite.

This charming divertissement is an advertisement

for a big show that’s a pip.

If you put it to ’em, they’ll go to their room

and put on their clothes and strip, strip, strip, strip,

put on their clothes and strip.

Toooo ex-marines in their middle teens,

the burg isn’t very bizarre,

but rather seems peaceful and even releaseful

compared to a foreign war,

so they’re not particular who their vehicular company is or what for,

for combat experiences with Assyrians

just left ’em wanting more, more, more, more,

just left ’em wanting more.

…more

,,,more

…more.

Forty Second Street,

a pocket of pleasure

at time’s hip,

at times square.

Seldom

is the bald balled,

the build billed.

Seldom

the butch bitch

demands diamonds.

Seldom

King Kong

images M.G.s,

the nude need

mention a mansion.

Offing, often,

are walk, talk, talc,

recollection, a record collection,

a cigarette surrogate,

and a lighter later.

Diggin’ in,

a large charge,

a small smell,

and again

the lean lean,

stand stunned

on Forty Second,

vertiginous

renaming

remaining

virginities.

“I want you.”

“That’s five dollars.”

“I want you in the worst way.”

“That’s five dollars more.”

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

GLOSS ON A FEW POSSIBLY OBSCURE TERMS:

Pam Pam’s was a very cheap cafeteria-restaurant on the street.

Young Physiques was a magazine of very homoerotic photos of near-nude musclemen.

Mexican wedding shirts (coarse linen with ruffles) were popular among gay men at the time.

put on your bluejeans, get into the tub a method of shrinking pants skin-tight to maximize sexual allure.

Capucine was a European film star whose publicity was largely drooling tributes to her beauty.

“Common, seamy, come ‘n’ see me; I loft my lump despite the gelding shear.” parody of lines on the base of the Statue of Liberty: “I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Mantan was an ointment which fleetingly dyed flesh to look tanned.

El Cid was a super-heroic Charlton Heston movie, promulgating an ideal of masculinity as totally social-minded and self-sacrificial.

Doeskin trade-name of a very soft facial tiissue

The Automat was a cafeteria without waiters. One dropped a coin in a slot and took prepared food from a little window that opened.

The Astor Hotel was extremely elegant, but always featured a string of male hustlers leaning against the front until scattered by cops, thus “gone arena.”

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4 Responses to “42nd Street”

  1. tommyscott Says:

    Brilliant! Thanks for sharing!

  2. phoebewray Says:

    Ah Robert…sorcerer

  3. Stefan Windroth Says:

    Not enough Hy-phens.

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