I think I need to do something.

Escape the gravity of the rest and fly to you.

As kids, my friends and I asked all the time, “What do you want to do?”

To analyze this phrase

I need to turn to the poetry of praise.

This was nineteen-sixty five,

Restless Manhattan, America, rich, free, the world still old-fashioned, but jive.

Our parents were melting-pot middle-class,

An urban paradise about to pass

Into the boring white-flight suburbs

But now Riverside Drive was the place,

Riverside Park our wiffle ball, Italian ices, space.

Beatles, Monkees, Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew,

Playboy, maybe stolen porn-in-Victorian-prose, too.

On the intellectual Upper West Side, hip hop was born.

Marc Edmonds was pretty forlorn,

When, after sandlot football practice, his afro was called a cunt

By young blacks who knew what it meant

To be flamboyant and half white.

We didn’t know what to do. We liked science. It was going to be alright.

New York City was just so cool,

Though I was a little terrified of getting my change stolen from me at school.

But I had diverse friends.

Always one depends

On that. But then there was you.

It really isn’t love. It’s finding something to do.

When a bunch of people are milling about,

And you’re shy, damn, you always are, and you get left out,

You decide: there’s something I better do.

And that’s all there ever is. It was a challenge reaching out to you.

Here we are. Wherever we are. So what do you want to do?




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