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Alexander Filippou (An Artist's Life)
I decided to go to the Post Office
It's only 430am
Had to get something in the mail
Right away then

I grabbed my coat
And ran outside
Slid my way
Across the icy snow
Down to Houston Street

I grabbed a cab
Around the corner
On Bowery
And slowly crept west

Alexander Filippou was my driver
For the evening just now
He feels tingles in his left arm
And a pain in his chest

No, not the doctor
He just needs rest
Alexander explains to me
Through our plastic barrier of exchange

We continue through the ice
To closed 6th Ave
And then to 8th
We pursue

Fuckin' this and fuckin' that
Alexander curses
I nodding my head
Making mental notes

Filippou pissed
He has to work hard
To pay the rent
But cant get the Co-Op
Because the immigration is bothering him again

His mother and sister
Still remain behind
As the Ryder truck tailgates
They are in Russia
I'm sure cold too

We make our way
Through the tiny streets
To the avenue of 8th
Where we belt up North

Alexander tells me
How he was a trained fabricator
In his homeland of Russia
Supervising ten men at a time

He explains to me
The I-Beams of America
How strong they are
Buildings lasting for hundreds of years

Alexander wanted to open his own
In Brooklyn town
But they call for papers once again
So he works fifteen, eighteen hour shifts

After the red and green lights
We arrive at 33rd street on 8th
My grand post office is open
Of course
24hours it is, indeed.

I wish my friend
Have a goodnight
And give him 9 "I Am America" bills

Walking up the flights of icy white stairs
He goes off slowly
I'm sure with American dollars
Trying to make sense

The post office was usual
Remotely tight
Because of Iraq over there
I do my business
And carry on with my art

I step down the stairs
And see the sight
I take some photos
to remember this night

I walk my way
Down 33rd and now up 7th ave
I want to see the center
Where its at

A few delis open
Selling produce and New York bagels
Of which I have none
Not even one

I get to the epicenter
Right near the NYPD
I'm in Times Square
To be an artist

I take my photos
Verticle and horizontal
My fingers now numb
In the coldness I share

Not to be too shy
I was on by
The porno shop
Even this too
Is not closed
On a night like this

Should I go in?
Just for one dance?
I'd like to see
That naked horror dance.

You know me well
I ventured inwards
And to my suprise
Only video tonight

Dollar booths with porn
With sounds of animals
Because the women who worked days
Are not here at this hour

Defeatd in a way
I walk away
Down South on 6th Ave
Until I hit Broadway

I remember walking down
On sunny days
In the spring time
When it was warm

And that first walk
That I did many years ago
First exploring
The city, my city

I'm an artist
This is what I do
I observe everything
Welcome to my world

Running through the streets
A Bosnian effort
Of white delight
And tomorrows nightmare

I finally get to bed
Only to write this for you
Its now 6:14am
Give me another hour
I'll be up for twenty-four

 1999 David Greg Harth @ 296 NYC