Charles Chaim Wax

When I Landed In Coney Island

Poem by Charles Chaim Wax

I was in luck because Candy sat alone
in Kansas Fried Chicken.
She possessed the soul of a poet
and the body of a sex goddess,
but things had not gone well for her,
I was sure of it,
even though she never spoke
about the details of her life.
“How do you feel? ” I asked.
“Snowing, ” she said,
“just your kind of weather.”
“Where’d you get this liking for the cold? ”
“I told you I was born in Siberia.”
“Last time you said Outer Mongolia.”
“They’re close.”
Just then Irving trudged in.
I nodded to him
and he sat at our table.
“I got to have an operation on my leg, ” he said.
“The third one. Diabetes.
After my wife died
everything went bad.
And where I’m living they don’t give heat! ”
“Call Housing, ” said Candy.
“BUMS, ” he exploded leaping to his feet,
only to plop down a second later.
“I had a hard life.
I didn’t ask for a hard life,
but I had a hard life.
My two children I hadda bury...
all sorts of pain.
I force myself to go on—
Memory...what a torment!
Do I make sense? ”
“Yeah, ” said Candy softly.
“The plug has been pulled.
I’m in the bottomless hole! ”
Candy closed her eyes,
breathing deeply, words almost
ready, but not yet.
Irving going on, “I can see why
there are suicides…”
“No, ” gasped Candy.
“Yesterday I fainted twice
trying to tie my left shoelace.
Such a thing! Go know
God hates me. I never knew. Now I know! ”
“Do you need a few dollars, Irving? ” Candy asked,
“to get a good meal.
It’ll cheer you up.”
“Another life! my darling.
Can you help me with that? ”
Candy staring at Irving, lips quivering
perhaps now, then: my mother did it.”
The words out. Silence.
Snow everywhere. Streets covered.
Finally. “Bernstein, get a pint of cherry liqueur for the hotel
and a bag of chips and a ginger ale.”
“Between a man and a woman
I don’t interfere, ” said Irving,
dragging his flesh into the blasting snow.
I raced after him
and slipped a five dollar bill into his hand.
“Which way is Paradise? ” he whispered.
“The next step, ” I blithely proclaimed,
then went half way down the block
to get the stuff for Candy.
When I returned
she brushed the snow from my beard.

Comments about When I Landed In Coney Island by Charles Chaim Wax

  • Hugh Cobb (4/19/2006 8:47:00 PM)

    Always the eternal mystery
    and the simple interplay of lives
    resulting in endless complexity
    life always the key
    always the source of pain
    and compassion's shining hope.
    A wonderful tale.(Report)Reply

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  • ... ... (4/18/2006 9:41:00 AM)

    sometimes your poems are a smile like the one where you buy a silk shirt and a guy falls over, and sometimes they are a cry like when the pimp hits your friend with a pipe in a paper bag, and sometimes they are both at once like in this poem, but whichever of them it is life is always fighting to take place within the poem itself, which for me makes you a descendant of writers like kerouac and o'hara, writers i have a great fondness for.(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 18, 2006