Rick Lupert

Poetry • Spoken Word • Jewish

Photo by Alexis Rhone Fancher


It was time to visit the big city. Sure, the city I live in is bigger; but that’s not important. New York is the BIG CITY…it’s certainly taller than Los Angeles. There’s a lot to be said for compacting everything onto an island. Feel free to say any of those things. I’m not going to say them for you. Opinions are expensive in these parts. Send me a dollar, and I’ll tell you what I think. I like Islands. Brooklyn is not an Island. There is fabulous Mexican food there. The kind of food you wouldn’t find on an island. The kind of food I wouldn’t expect to find east of Arizona. So meet my trip to New York City. Someone once said to me “Oh you with your books about the places you’ve been.” It’s true. New York is a place, and I have been there, and this book is all poems that I wrote there, except for the last two which I wrote in New Jersey, and the first few which I wrote on the way there. But the rest of them in the middle…oh yes, those were written in New York City.

Poetry from Up Liberty’s Skirt

Weather Report

You can see your breath
in forty degree New York City weather
unlike in Los Angeles
where it is sixty five
and what you see in the air
is not your breath

Burn Brooklyn Burn

From the back of the Statue of Liberty
it looks like she’s walking to Brooklyn
either to set it on fire
or because there’s good Mexican food there

Doesn’t Like Her Job

I ask the woman at the Ellis Island Café
if the pizza is good New York pizza
She says she doesn’t know because
she’s not from New York

As if New Jersey is a place
you can actually be from

Fight On The Subway

There’s a fight on the Subway
Car in front of mine
Can’t see anything
But the yelling
Which, of course
I can’t see either

People lean through open car doors
for a glimpse of who is hitting who
The train can’t move with the doors blocked

No one complains
Carnage unites underground New York
Home means another meal with the wife
all night sirens and a sleepless night

Leave the doors open another minute
I think there’s blood on the floor

A tooth

Lost Luggage

The baggage room
with misplaced immigrant possessions
One hundred years, the Wolinsky family
still without their precious forks and spoons


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