Saturday, June 25, 2011


From Chicago to New York for my connecting flight...
London was my plan.
Got into a fist fight with a New York bartender.
I viewed him as the "typical" New Yorker.
I vowed I never would return to that rathole city,
and I never did.
I don't "heart" New York.
Bailed out of jail, by my traveling companion...
then on to JFK airport, or LaGuardia, or Lord only knows.
The big jet landed at Heathrow, and one the famous, black, London cabs,
renowned for having the best drivers in the world, took me to my hotel.
The cabbies are the best in London, bar none.
I stayed at a dilapidated flat run by a family of Vietnamese,
in Bloomsbury...The box spring sank to the floor.
I was tired...jet-lagged...hungover.
I listened to street traffic, and cockney accents emanating from beneath my window.
I heard fighting among pimps and hookers, crazed drunks and drug addicts, street musicians, confidence men and panhandlers...It was a grand cacophony of noise.
I loved it all, anyway. I fell in sync with the verve of this city.
The women were sexy...Germans, Brits, Eastern Europeans, Italians...a veritable smorgasbord of loveliness.
And the jazz! Oh!, the jazz!...Ronnie Scott's in Soho, was beyond compare.
It was a gas at Covent Garden, and Picadilly Circus.
I got some strange looks from the citizenry.
I had a raggedy beard, long hair, bib overhalls, combat boots, and American biker t-shirts. I loved riding the underground train...The famous "Tube".
I took it all in. The British Museum, The Tower of London, Windsor Castle, and little outlying towns by train. I loved the pubs more than anything...I can still hear my brit working class buddies saying, "Hey Yank, yah partial to shooting another game of snooker for a Guiness?" I drank warm, dark Guinness stout, or scotch without ice cubes. Not much ice in London pubs, but I didn't care. I learned and sang songs about football teams, women and wars, without having any knowledge of these things, and the blokes threw their arms around me, as if I was a brother.
I felt safe and at home...England does swing! Roger Miller was right.

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