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Cutting Up At Smalls
By Nathaniel Goldberg
Copyright 2000 Nathaniel Goldberg
A poem about a skating girl getting lots of attention.

Greenwich Village was wet from rain
covered with early morning soot over its thin streets
Cassandra, pristine goddess
at the corner of West Fourth and
Bleeker headed for Smalls,
wearing spandex and
roller-blades. Into the dive, clunking down
the steps past
jazz aficionados she skated, the Village
at her heels, a crazed Aphrodite on
a crusade to disrupt the
smoke filled room where jazz zipped
through the air in paraphrases.
I watched her from the corner
of my eye while she caroused
between thin spaces locked
in by chairs and couches
on her way to nowhere fast.
She held a twelve ouncer in her left
and a cigarette butt in her right.
She collided with the
wild pianist who was whimpering
like Thelonious Monk
Everything stopped! Cassandra,
with the look of an impish child
skated until she had carved
the place into havoc.