Spoonful: A Gathering of Stone Soup Poets

An extension of Cambridge's Stone Soup Poetry Venue.

Poem by Melissa Shook


In a dark, dirty, dangerous neighborhood, at a late 50’s New York
New Year’s party we’d crashed at an Avenue A, maybe B, walk-up
wall-to-wall with strangers, my Italian companion whispered “Corso”
and nodded through the crowd at a short nude man pissing in the fireplace.
Could that be true? Were there working fireplaces in those tenements?
I remember flames. Ginsberg must have lounged on the crowded couch
as we edged toward the kitchen counter lined with bottles.

                                                                                                              My lover,
insistent on educating me through films and poets, never imagining
how easily I’d drift away and that a couple-of-college-years-one-abortion-
brief-marriage-quickie-divorce-pregnancy-and-my-baby-girl later
I’d wind up only blocks from where this party happened, living near
Ginsberg, Monk, Ciardi, Dworkin (or was it Rich?) who all
worked, read and played, at an easy distance I’d never travel.