Following is my most-recently published poem. It appeared in the literary magazine Waymark.
The cup dropped from the machine and teetered till the syrup and the seltzer mixed and the cowboys came around the bend again and again rifles erect Indians on the run
My chin on my knees skinny arms lashed eyes ever wide two Saturday matinee features broken only by coming attractions that would have to be seen the war movies the dramas the beach blanket bingos
I emerged from the slanted foyer to the blinding afternoon unsure who I was knowing only I wouldn’t always have to return to the kasha-scented Bronx building I would live in California someday in the wild fake sunlight I would I would
It’s a creeping, haunting yomp over some brilliantly bleak, industrial clangy instrumentation. Perhaps, like a gothic take on John Cooper Clarke with some pretty obvious touchpoints of Nick Cave and Tom Waits.
It’s from a 2002 album called ‘King Kong Serende’ and a bit of digging into Allen Shadow (see his blog here) suggests he’s a bit of a renaissance man. His Twitter bio states: “Novelist Allen Shadow (aka Allen Kovler) is also a music artist, poet, journalist & PR pro (APR) who blogs on writing, music and politics.” Which is what we like here on the Excavation Tapes.
If this project is all about unearthing really interesting and brilliant material lost in the banal mainstream crossfire, then we’ve got ourselves a gem here.
Big July arrested me the little kid with the skinny arms urging the steering wheel alone in the unlocked Studebaker the sun exploding off the taillight chrome of the fat Buick parked ahead
Wanting so bad to roll out into the world I had only imagined how it would feel like sex probably which I also did not know or flying
And I did somehow when the brake released and I began rolling backwards downhill and for a long moment was on a fear-struck joy ride maybe the last of my little life but I might see the farms of Iowa wild horses and the TV sunlight of California
If a rear tire hadn’t kissed the curb setting me down hard from my cloud back to rest on the East Bronx street to the cry of “supper”
Just to clarify, my story appears in the online version of the “Walking New York” Magazine feature in The Times, and doesn’t appear in the print edition. If you’re looking, click here and search “Kovler” in your browser to find it quickly.
The New York Times published a piece I wrote as part of their Walking New York feature for this Sunday’s Magazine. In addition to a number of prominent writers, others were invited to submit a story of about 600 characters, and mine was one of few that made the cut.
I wrote about a boyhood adventure along the Grand Concourse, in the Bronx:
The Grand Concourse, Near Tremont By Allen Kovler (aka Allen Shadow)
At 13, my friend Sammy and I would hike up the Grand Concourse all the way to Mosholu Parkway on a hot, sunny Saturday, equipped as if on an explorer-worthy trek, cargo pants pockets stuffed with sundries, Army canteens smacking our hips as we marveled at the sights: the bric-a-brac stores on Burnside, the Loews Paradise, the bustle of Fordham Road, the eerie tranquility of Edgar Allan Poe’s cottage, the home for the blind. Exhausted, we’d mount a bus back, hanging from the windows, still thrilled.