Day 21- NaPoWriMo poetry challenge…”The Empire State”

Today’s challenge prompt: “…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, humor, inclusion of pop culture, and a sense of the importance of art (visual, poetic, and otherwise).”

New York Times Square

“The Empire State”

It was the end of summer in the Empire state

and already we could feel the gentle nip of autumn’s teeth

at our earlobes.

As usual, Times Square was a bustle of activity.

Tourists posed and

looked all agog while

natives with tunnel vision beat the pavement

with unerring steps

over-under-around and through

animate and inanimate objects.

It was actually September eleventh that day

and that remembrance stuck in my mind.

The Lion King bore its announcement of show times

and I just HAD to stand under the neon banner.

I remember trying one of those infamous hot pretzels

from a street vendor.

Alas! I was not a fan!

I remember before going to Times Square

we’d gone to Bryant Park. The fountains

were so lovely to look at though I didn’t want to

get wet,

as I feared getting a chill.

It sucks having a cold while you travel.

We had ice cream and people watched

hoping the time would slow down.

We couldn’t delay the inevitable so we

made our way down town while

regretting that we were unable to get into

the Metropolitan Museum of Art the previous day

due to an abundance of traffic and a dearth of parking spots.

Ahh! New York! New York!

The crowd at Grand Central was crazy as usual

as we said our good-byes.

I found my ticket and thought…

I just love the way trains disappear into tunnels.

Claustrophobia three minutes in

usually rids me of the need to romanticise.

I text “Good-bye” to Tara.

I plug in my earphones, glance out the window

and bid you and New York a silent good-bye.

(Copyright 2014 chattinatti)


Bryant Park Courtesy: Wikipedia

Bryant Park
Courtesy: Wikipedia


Have a look at other “New York School” poems from fellow bloggers:


10 thoughts on “Day 21- NaPoWriMo poetry challenge…”The Empire State”

  1. NY! NY! Times Sq, Broadway and all the works. I used to buy same day tickets for Broadway at give away prices. Chinatown and Harlem were wonderful contrast.It was hot when we were there and we got to Rockway Beach for a cool dip a few occasions.Got on the ferry to Staten Island and saw Liberty up close. It was fun, yes! Wonderful write chattinatti!


  2. This is cool to Chatti. Your words string together beautifully which allows my imagination to conceptualize very vivid pictures. Good stuff.

  3. Beautiful poem, Natti! I especially loved the characterization of autumn’s teeth nipping the earlobes. I’ve yet to visit New York, but you did an amazing job at describing the experience. So wonderfully, in fact, that maybe I can forgo dealing with the crowds and just say that I was able to visit New York through your poetry. 🙂 When you said it was September eleventh, I felt a pain in my stomach. It’s amazing how so many years later, the memories about the event still stick with you. Wonderful piece!

    • Thank you!! You should visit NY! The summer time is best or late summer. Yes, time has gone by so quickly but it all comes back to the memory when you are in certain locations. May the ones who lost their lives continue to rest in peace and may their families find comfort. Thank you for the lovely comments! 🙂

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