No place for a poet


I moved from Minnesota to New York City because that’s what Bob Dylan did. But the 1960s was a long time ago. 

The only folk singers I found were homeless beggars in Washington Square Park and millionaires in swanky hotel bars. There wasn’t room for anyone in between.

New York City is a museum financed by a bank as a tax write off. Nobody actually creates anything inside a museum. Museums are a public tomb for art, a showcase of magic that once was.

I arrived 10 years ago during a summer thunderstorm. The weather has been slowly clearing ever since.

I was made homeless by Hurricane Sandy, made obsolete by the technocratic gatekeepers of the economy, made claustrophobic by eight million conflicting agendas and opinions, made safe and lonely by various women on the other side of dating apps, made nostalgic for stars by city smog, and somewhere along the way I was made into myself.

Thank you, New York, for taking off my clothes and fucking me in public. It took me a long time to realize that this is just how you make love, and if I showed no fear you were happy to let me turn you around and fuck you back. 

Thank you, New York, for showing me that vampires and angels are real and living among us.

Thank you, New York, for teaching me that there are no answers. There are only stories and what we choose to believe. 

Thank you for letting me crash your party. But the party is over, at least for me. There’s no place for a poet in this race for property and privilege. And the prizes are plastic anyway.

Everybody wants to be somebody important, but I just want a good night’s sleep.

James McCrae