gussie's downbeat

Honoring Constantine Pantazonis - RIP 6/16/14
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To honor our site members who are no longer with us.
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constantine
Posts: 2677
Joined: March 9th, 2008, 9:45 am

gussie's downbeat

Post by constantine » May 5th, 2013, 8:38 pm

in greektown, the alleys are narrow
and lead in many directions
as a kid they would draw me in
the shade, the solitude
a place to hide, and
though i deny and deride
though i look back in nostalgia
still, i was as lonely then as now

behind eastern avenue, the alley
stretched through the other side of life -
the other side of daylight
pinky the wino would lay in his own puke
in his own secret misery, a mystery
unfathomed by the flipside people
(how can a man let himself...)
on nightly strolls down the avenue
in love, arm in arm, impervious
he was the yardstick
something to measure your stability against

i told my brother of my new discovery
a back door, nefarious - secretive
in plain letters: "Gussie's Downbeat"
gun molls and doxies
fedoras and passwords...
you idiot, my brother intoned,
get your head out of the movies
and, while you're at it
out of your ass as well
i was insulted, embarrassed,
and unconvinced

one can get used to anything
you adjust and walk on
i've slithered through alleys
that never saw the light of day
in houses, condemned and dilapidated
and nodded while walking, sliding
and buttressed by walls unaware
No. i'm a liar.
i was aware, i had crossed the line
and called it mine
i became the dark null entity
an object lesson in mom's morality class
in search of redemption... tomorrow... maybe

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dadio
Posts: 4652
Joined: December 10th, 2010, 1:20 pm

Re: gussie's downbeat

Post by dadio » May 8th, 2013, 1:23 am

This imo is one of your best poems.

No. i'm a liar.
i was aware, i had crossed the line
and called it mine
i became the dark null entity
an object lesson in mom's morality class
in search of redemption... tomorrow... maybe

EXCELLENT LINES.

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constantine
Posts: 2677
Joined: March 9th, 2008, 9:45 am

Re: gussie's downbeat

Post by constantine » May 8th, 2013, 2:12 pm

thanks - i wrote it a few years ago. gussie's was a neighborhood bar - with dancers, i think - an old bar in greektown back in the 50s and 60s. i don't think i was that far from the truth - greektown had some organized crime back then that was pretty mob-like. the iozzi brothers were the big wheels - they got heavy time for union racketeering. i heard that stilltruckin used to hang with them - but it's just a rumor.

saw
Posts: 6960
Joined: May 23rd, 2008, 7:32 am
Location: B'more, Maryland

Re: gussie's downbeat

Post by saw » February 11th, 2021, 11:55 am

constantine wrote:
May 8th, 2013, 2:12 pm
thanks - i wrote it a few years ago. gussie's was a neighborhood bar - with dancers, i think - an old bar in greektown back in the 50s and 60s. i don't think i was that far from the truth - greektown had some organized crime back then that was pretty mob-like. the iozzi brothers were the big wheels - they got heavy time for union racketeering. i heard that stilltruckin used to hang with them - but it's just a rumor.

love reading dino's comments as much as his poetry
If you do not change your direction
you may end up where you are heading

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