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Long Beach, Long Island New Year’s Day Night


(after reading Cliff Fyman's ATLANTIC HOTEL IN LONG BEACH)


I drank beer all the way from Strowbridge, Mass.

Vinnie driving, he newly clean from H and teaching high school

me desperate to get away from my wife who'd told me 

just hours before that she was leaving the marriage

(this after playing happy beside me in the mountain snow all day with her family)


Vinnie let me ramble but to my: "I can't believe it--we were gonna be famous 

rock and rollers" said:

"Fame's a bitch goddess worse than yr wife."


We drove on, the hours a numb blur of stabbing headlights.


From his house it was a few blocks to the once grand boardwalk

fresh snow lay thick and muffled every sound but the ocean’s

love for the brilliant white sand.


There was a pit where once a grand hotel held the newlywed dreams of couples 

long since grandparents or in graves under snow.


Visiting from California, I'd never seen snow on the beach before and wanted to make 

a vow to rescue beauty from depression but I hadn't had enough to drink.


The moon shot out from the clouds so that the world was black and white

and everything seemed new and broken at the same time.



[Originally published in NHS 2008, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs08/Peter_Marti.htm.]