To the woman at Melrose Coffee Shop on Geary near Union Square.
You know who you are.  Little on the OCD side, aren’t we?
I know you think you have me all figured out.
You think I’m some uptown brat, silver spoon and all that.
I grew out of The Projects, dear.  I know what I am.
It makes me strong, fierce, like a caged cougar.
One wrong move and the claws come out of the velvet.
I told Ronnie not to push me.
I told that boy I wasn’t anybody’s baby.
I told him to mind his Pees and Cues.
Hardly my fault then that he was found face down in Bayview mud.
No one cried for Ronnie, even though most of the girls said
that if you squinted real hard he looked like Will Smith.
That made me snort.
I met Mr Will Smith in person, and Ronnie just did not look like him.
Met Mr Smith when he was filming that Happyness movie in the City.
I borrowed me an EXTRAs ID and walked right up to him and said hello.
He was nice, but busy.
Then I met Mr Chris Gardner.  Mr Chris Gardner.
Now, he is THE MAN.
He is the zero to hero.
He is the penniless itinerant who became a multi-millionaire.
So don’t you patronise me, Miss Melrose Coffee Shop.
Don’t talk to me like you’re my mother.
Straighten my placemat, put my fork on the right (left) side of the plate.
I am somebody, dear, because I made myself somebody.
And next time (if there is a next time)
If I ask for apple Danish — I want apple Danish!





Day 21

Today’s prompt is to write a “New York School” poem. The New York School is the name by which a group of poets that all lived in New York in the 1950s and 1960s. The most well-known members are Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, and Kenneth Koch. Their poems are actually very different from one another, but many “New York School” poems display a sort of conversational tone, references to friends and to places in and around New York, humour, inclusion of pop culture, and a sense of the importance of art (visual, poetic, and otherwise).

I am not sure I actually captured the New York School style, but I enjoyed trying and reading various NewYorkSchool poets along the way.  If you are interested, you can read Frank O’Hara or Kenneth Koch or John Ashbery.