Jackson Heights

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This is a tiny homage to my neighborhood, Jackson Heights.

This song and the others I’ve posted so far were written during a song-writing exercise: to write 14 songs in 28 days. This was fun.

Taco stands lined up under the belly of the 7 train.
Colombian women filling tight blue jeans don’t look like your magazines.
In Little India, the women in the saris will never speak your name.
37th is a walk in heaven if you’ll let it be.

Oh, Jackson Heights,
I keep coming back to you,
your alien point of view.

Oh, Jackson Heights,
what am I gonna do
on Roosevelt Avenue?

Men praying for work to pick them up
on the crossroads of 74th.
The Scorpion produces drunks who’ve had enough,
but they are the honest sort.
The gay men crowd as the sparks of the 7
rain down on the dirty street.
And tucked away in the co-op part of town,
young families drifting to sleep.

Oh, Jackson Heights,
what am I gonna do
on Roosevelt Avenue?

Oh, Jackson Heights,
I keep coming back to you,
your alien point of view.

Ecuador

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Walking home from work one day,  in Jackson Heights, I heard one kid ask another, “did your mother came back from Ecuador yet?”

And this is what happened in my head:

Did your mother came back from Ecuador?
Did she show up at your bedroom door?
Did she kiss you good night, mi amore?
Or does she have to help her family some more?

Your father gets in from the bar late at night.
But he still gets you to school on time,
on his way to the construction site,
where he watches the women go by.

Did your mother came back from Ecuador?
Will they take her back at the grocery store?
Time is flying, and you’re growing, mi amore.
Those birds must be singing a sweet, sweet song.

 

Lost in Queens

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Inspiration can come in the form of a bag stuck in a tree.

A black bag stuck in a tree waving like a flag.
Kids texting on phones call out “nigger.”
A Mexican cowboy played for no money.
A drunk man got on the train,
he was lost in Queens.

Oooh.

I am wasting away on this platform.
I am walking the same shoes as my father.
The 7 appears in the sky like a savior.
Another day I will try to make it better.

Oooh.