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Playing Hide and Seek in the Bronx

by 04/25/2013
Neighborhood: Bronx

Decades ago, when my brother was about ten and I around fourteen, he began to spend an extraordinary amount of time in his room. We lived in an apartment in a sketchy neighborhood in the Bronx. There were muggings, petty and not so petty thefts, and a few cases of violent crimes. Still, we played […]

Dope

by 04/25/2013
Neighborhood: Featured, Williamsburg

*This story is written from the perspective of the author's former roommate. The names have been changed but all events happened as stated. Andy is being a serious cocksucker and holding onto my money. He won't give me any. He says it's for my own good and that I'll just go and spend it on […]

The Circle Line

by 04/02/2013
Neighborhood: Across the River, All Over, Featured

She throws an envelope onto the kitchen table, vaguely in my direction. She has written my name on it, and underlined it twice. I know what’s in it: it’s my birthday and inside it there will be, as always, a check. I am only ten-years-old, and I do not exactly know what to do with […]

School Spirits

by 03/20/2013
Neighborhood: Featured, Jamaica

I’ve been teaching Writing and Literature in New York City’s public school system for almost nine years. This spring, my former building will graduate its final class just shy of reaching the century mark. The school’s phase-out process followed the usual script that no ‘education reformer’ cares to discuss: a decent school declared dangerous, unable […]

The Dirty Side Of A Car Wash

by 03/15/2013
Neighborhood: Bronx

I believe my father owned one of the first automatic car washes in New York City, located on Bruckner Boulevard in the Bronx. It was around 1950 and I can still recall a TV blip of him driving into the car wash and the newscaster, John Cameron Swayze, making note of this distinct new type […]

A Verizon Connection

by 03/14/2013
Neighborhood: Prospect Heights

The buzzer rang and I jumped like I always do. It was a loud, harsh cross between a buzz and a ring that seemed to annoy even the cat, judging by the way she raised her head, giving me that look, before settling back to sleep. I tossed the book I was reading to the […]

A Comparative Analysis of the Heroic Exploits of Antarctic Explorer Ernest Shackleton and Downtown Resident Brent Shearer During The Five-Night “Sandy” Blackout

by 02/07/2013
Neighborhood: Lower East Side, Tribeca

October 1915 - Shackleton's ship the Endurance crushed by ice after drifting for nine months. October 28, 2012 - 7:30 pm: Shearer hikes two blocks from residence at 90 Hudson St., #6B, to Hudson River with stated goal of checking out storm surge and keeping feet dry. Forced to wade through three feet of water […]

Ellis Island

by 02/03/2013
Neighborhood: Ellis Island

The following sonnets are excerpted from Robert Viscusi's forthcoming book, Ellis Island, which will be published in March 2013 by Bordighera Press. Random arrangements of lines from the 624 sonnets that comprise this epic work can be discovered via the Random Sonnet Generator at ellisislandpoem.com. This is the first time these poems have appeared as written […]

I Know The Way To Brooklyn

by 01/15/2013
Neighborhood: Prospect Heights

I went to the Bob Dylan concert at the Barclay's Center around Thanksgiving. We are contemporaries. I love his recent work and I thought it was about time I went to one of his live performances. I got a ticket, took the subway from the Upper West Side to the newly-christened Atlantic Ave.-Barclays Center stop. […]

Starry Night

by 12/04/2012
Neighborhood: Downtown Brooklyn

“If stars are lit...” - V. V. Mayakovsky Had the receptionist been Dante Alighieri, he might have strung a banner along the wall of the windowless waiting room advising visitors to “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” But the person who pointed me in the direction of this circle of Hell was no Dante--nor […]

The Threat

by 12/04/2012
Neighborhood: Featured, Flatlands

The wailing woke me at 3:00 AM. I tried to ignore it. I had to get up for work in a few hours. A bus and two subways, my commute to Manhattan was substantial. At first, I thought it must be a dog crying in the cold winter’s night. But after a few seconds, I […]

Hurricanes in the Hamptons

by 11/26/2012
Neighborhood: East Hampton, Uncategorized

One glorious and balmy summer weekend in the late 1990s, I sat in the house my parents built for their retirement, enjoying the spectacular view of Gardiner’s Bay. A flotilla of sailboats lilted in the wind, guided by red buoys that demarcated a channel in the otherwise shallow waters. My gaze shifted southeast, towards Napeague, […]