Phil in Bensonhurst

Young Phil

Allen and Caren

Phil turning Allen upside down

To read the originals, please click on the images:

"My Bensonhurst!" 1

"My Bensonhurst!" 2

It was always
very tough
dealing with Italian-Sicilino—
they are mostly
dark and mysterious
given to emotion—yet cold and aloof to those outside
"the family"
Bigots — maybe not by
design but by chemistry —
Boys as dumb as daa.
And I didn't know
any Black kids really until I was 13 or 14 years and in
Jr. High School.
Bensonhurst is on the
way to Coney Island
toward Gravesend Bay
looking out

Basically only Jews. Boring...
That's how I grew up.
extended family
cousins even—
oriented towards my own
    religion that is,
It would
never be easy
This was sometime in the
late 60's.
So I started getting high in High School—to go out with girls.
But I remember ending up with Nunzio in the stairway at Seth Low Junior High.

                                                         Continue to the Next Poem »