My Struggle by Ron Kolm

In 1992 Jerry Brown,The liberal ex-governor of California,Ran against Bill ClintonIn the race to becomeThe Democratic nominee for PresidentOf the United States of America.He entered the New York primaryAnd came to New York City to campaign.While he was here he shoppedIn Coliseum Bookstore on 57th Street Surrounded by a phalanxOf Secret Service agents.When he approached the cash registerWith a pile of booksI leaned over from … Continue reading My Struggle by Ron Kolm

The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again) by Ron Kolm

When I was working the cash registerin Eastside Bookstore on St. Mark’s Place in the mid-70s one of my favorite books to readbetween sales was Andy Warhol’s The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: (From A to B and Back Again).He was from Pennsylvania, and I was too, so I liked him for that.When he got shot in the FactoryI was totally shocked. I couldn’t believethat anyone would try to hurt him.Anyway, … Continue reading The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again) by Ron Kolm

Metamorphosis by Ron Kolm

I’d been going through a terrible time, separating from my wife, and everything I touched, broke.I was working in a bookstore on 8th Street in New York City,the only person on the night shift, barely hanging on to the job.Among the tasks I had to do every evening after closing was clean the bathroom.Late one night I accidentally knocked an empty vase off the back of the toilet sending it crashing into the porcelain bowlcreating … Continue reading Metamorphosis by Ron Kolm

Me and Patti Smith by Ron Kolm

For a brief while many years agoPatti Smith and I workedin the Strand Bookstore at the same time.I did get the chance to see her performwith Lenny Kaye playing guitaron a rooftop high above Grand Street,but our main interaction happenedwhen she strode up to me in the storeand thrust the Caedmon recordingof James Joyce reading into my hands.“Someone told me I looked like himand gave … Continue reading Me and Patti Smith by Ron Kolm

The Heart Cries Eternally by Ron Kolm

We had terrible fights, with littlepeace between the conflagrations.When we finally split up, I tossedmy wedding band down a sewer gratehoping I’d broken the circleof never-ending pain. Recently,after too many White Russians,I told a friend what I’d done years ago.“Damn,” he said, “You should have sold itto a jewelry store in the Diamond District.”“Nope,” I confessed. “Every time I wentto 47th Street, it was to spend money.I would … Continue reading The Heart Cries Eternally by Ron Kolm

Sinbad’s Lament by Ron Kolm

I tumble over stormbad seasSandwiched betweenThe clouds and the deep.It’s been a terrible tripLasting foreverAnd I long for the safetyOf your harbor.  Sweetly asleep I soon shall beAfloat on currents of wind and rainUntil the final sea-change.  Weaving through the hazeWary gulls avoid my gaze.I wish they’d tell meWhat finally happenedTo dear old dirty Sinbad.  Continue reading Sinbad’s Lament by Ron Kolm

Death Is A Soldier by Ron Kolm

What he really isIs a middle-aged guyWearing camo,Who reads a lot of booksOn military history and dreamsWhat the World would be likeIf Hitler had won the war.He sits in a neighborhood bar,Hunched over a White Russian,Watching TV.Every time he looksAt the screenSomething happens:Tornadoes slap Tennessee,Coronavirus erupts in China,Trump opens his mouth.He nods sagelyAnd sips his drinkAs these disasters occurIn real time.Even as he staresAt his … Continue reading Death Is A Soldier by Ron Kolm