Rp Verlaine

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Near the East Village

sees everything,”
sings blind street singer
pretty with long brown hair
in her early twenties
whose cardboard sign
says she needs money
to get home to Connecticut. I drop
two dollars in her guitar case
bringing her a step or two closer
smiling while walking away
a good deed to leverage
the many sins. Perhaps making up
for a previous night of debauchery
with two gals from Scranton
that brought more shame
than pleasure.
“Jesus sees all you do,”
she sings with beguiling innocence
when this obese guy jostles me
good, without pause, going by
giving the blind singer, or
her message, the finger.
Totally uncalled for.
I’m left hoping Jesus fixes
this cretin good.
At the very least
a jaywalking ticket
an STD or a bad
rash or terrible haircut.
“Jesus knows, Jesus knows,”
she sings. I do hope she gets home
with Jesus keeping a watchful eye.
Unless it’s His day off
like it is mine.

Under Tin Hat

two eyes
a junkie
to me to
has gone?
For he
a word
not a miracle
just a word.
I say
give a dollar
he smiles
missing teeth
and says
god is

Rp Verlaine lives in New York City. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from City College. He taught in New York Public schools for many years. His first volume of poetry, Damaged by Dames & Drinking, was published in 2017 and another, Femme Fatales Movie Starlets & Rockers, in 2018. A set of three e-books titled Lies From the Autobiography, vol 1-3 were published from 2018 to 2020. His latest book, Imagined Indecencies, was published in February of 2022. He was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry in 2021 and 2022.

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Photo Credit: “06.Busker.WMATA.DupontCircleNorth.WDC.8April2012” by Elvert Barnes, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Flickr.com.

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