Low Life Corner ‘80

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Nighttime on Low Life Corner ‘80 (2018) – Acrylic and oil on cardboard. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

The Slip Kid is late but

I’ve got the cash

to buy cigarettes and gas.

The Greek at the counter

says he’ll take a pass

on tomorrow’s race

he’s betting too fast.

Change in the pay phone

sounds like the Clash

but it’s her voice I hear

and I’m past it.

 

The neon bleeds on the window pane in

the middle of a starry sea and

into the phone she sings

La dee deeee dee dee dee –

come play on the corner with me.

 

Driving slow on streets aglow

boat on illuminated sea

port on a curb

more than I deserve

‘cause they’re always there waiting for me.

We’re nine tonight, more boys than girls

but double as the night unfurls and

when the Mars Lights appear

like a movie premiere

they make the blight disappear.

It’s not easy in this time of change

this American morning’s so strange

the flags returned but the jobs went away

and pushed us into the fray.

 

And now we run or stay and pray.

 

The neon bleeds on the window pane

in the middle of a starry sea

as a siren of the alleys she sings

La dee deeee dee dee dee –

come play on the corner with me.

 

Those days are like dreams

that the lights chased away

while alone in a shadow I stayed.

Still it’s real that I feel

your voice’s constant appeal

to never abide my dismay.

Step into my shadow I say;

you say come out and play.

 

-Danny Grosso 

 

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