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In Time with No Time but the Time.

 All I ever look for in a movie these days is something akin to
Pacino in polyester pants running out of a bank
 screaming Attica,
then hurling a fistful of twenties into the hot New York sky, his pants
on tire, his sweat like a cannonball blowing me back into the
 back of my brain. How in the hell can I be like that?
 I wondered, ten and all and loved those muted blue cars and the MTA
buses, the fat cop, Moretti, who tried that going nowhere rescue
yourself psychobabble
 on Sonny before the whole plan went to shit. They don't make
movies about beautiful thugs anymore, just post-modern angst and
animated fish, so I bought a bike the other day because I was sick of
driving. Then I got fired because it took me three and a half hours to
get to work that usually takes me thirty rive minutes, it's 22
miles and everything is trucks and wild baboons and rusty thieves.
Really, New York doesn't smell right anymore, there's this
dust in the air that doesn't go away. It reminds me of mercury in
fish and I can't help thinking that I'm one of them big old
tunas poisoned in my own city, so I figure I'd do something crazy,
stupid, and I did. I climbed up an empty water tower on 22nd and tenth,
jumped in and tan in circles, counterclockwise, screaming Attica Attica
to see if I could turn back the time, get back to Pacino's popping
prancing dog day afternoon in 1975 with all the happening hipsters and
the promise of dollars and death. But after a half an hour of time
moving forward and the sun getting low, I looked up and realized there
was nowhere to go. And there I was, trapped, trapped in the ever present
desire of wanting to be somewhere else in rime with no rime but the rime
and stupid I was to have imprisoned myself in a water tower circa 1920
that held rive hundred gallons of pure Hudson Aqueduct. The end, I
thought, here it is. Was I to starve, dehydrate, die? And so I did what
my boyhood friends taught me to do when the stickiness of a moment
requires the heavy hand, I got down on all fours and went Jack Lambert
on that old rickety piece of NYC relic trash, busted a hole through the
wood and tumbled, roll and tuck, onto the black tar roof. Handsome
hallelujah and jumpin' be Jesus, I was out and it was 2005 and Al
Pacino wasn't dead but he was dead, and the cars on the highway
multiplied in front of my eyes like nasty cells and what could I do but
sit down on my ass and stop wishing for movies with Al Pacino in the
cream colored bell bottoms, and Al Pacino out of his mind in spit, hell,
why not stop going to movies altogether, and just strap my family onto
the back of my bike and pedal pedal into the sweet surrender of what the
big Buddha might call right now
if he spoke English and was nowhere to be seen. 


MATTHEW LIPPMAN'S first collection of poetry, The New Year of Yellow, won the Kathryn A. Morton Poetry Prize and was published by Sarabande Books in January, 2007. He lives in upstate New York with his wife and daughter.
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Title Annotation:two poems
Author:Lippman, Matthew
Publication:The American Poetry Review
Article Type:Poem
Date:Jul 1, 2007
Words:633
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