C.O.N.Y. (Commune of New York)


With a plastic spoon in hand 
Fished up from a garbage can 
And twelve-ounce paper coffee cup
Filled with macaroni 
I walk beside my bony pony, Tony,
To C.O.N.Y.
Commune of New York 
North up Broadway 
Past Madison Square 
Whose name’s been changed 
Old James was such a hilding 
The Empire State Building 
Is now a vertical farm — because 
The Commune dismantles the State  
And all of those luxury buildings; you
Can have an empty unit, too 
And carve up the streets and avenues,
Plant beans and grow
Potatoes — on the loading docks, 
In now no longer empty shops, 
Plays are staged, these days (why not?)  
In the Commune of New York;
Plays about the new Eddie Pus
Who doesn’t do Mother Melania, 
But, still dismembers Donald Duck —
Though this time’s wise 
So doesn’t pinch out his eyes —
Or plays about the flus of flies,
And flows of fleas, those parasites 
Are thrown outside of C.O.N.Y. where 
It’s been agreed, necessities 
Are free — can’t be commodities 
How do you like that? 
And Wall Street’s now an apple grove,
Central Park has been expanded 
Spreading out over the Queensboro bridge
Now a hanging garden
All the way down to Roosevelt Island 
And over the FDR 
And plays about the kangabats 
Bouncing into flight below 
The moon
Where Armstrong’s silver soup spoon still
Is drifting about in the dust 
Drawing lines, and sending signs, 
On some clear nights 
About the crises
Crisis, you know, was a medical term 
A time to intervene and heal, 
And healer, the physician —
From Physis, the antithesis of Nomos,
If you can believe the Old Stoics 
And Nomos (the root of nomeus,
The shepherd — so,
Which is your Jesus?
Order as custom, or Logos and Eros? 
Rules and Tradition, or Justice?
Dead letter or the spirt of the law? 
War or peace? 
Anesthetics or aesthetics?
Economy or Ecology? 

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Elliot Sperber is a writer, attorney, and adjunct professor. He lives in New York City and can be reached at elliot.sperber@gmail.com and on twitter @elliot_sperber.