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So who is on the short list?

Let’s be frank: If there are better roots rockers than Frank Hoier, we don’t know them. Hoier and his Dylan-Stones-Billy Bragg-influenced Weber Brothers band, will rock Union Pool on Dec. 7 and Public Assembly on Dec. 23, both in Williamsburg.

While all of Brooklyn mourns the loss of poet laureate Ken Siegelman, The Brooklyn Paper got to work compiling a list of men and woman (and, in once case, a pair of men) who could possibly fill the big fountain pen of the late Siegelman. Here’s the official “short list” that we will be sending to Borough President Markowitz. Vote for your favorite by e-mailing newsroom@cnglocal.com.

Bob Hershon
Boerum Hill
ADVANTAGE: A great supporter and publisher of local poetry.
DISADVANTAGE: He’s too busy to be the poet laureate.


“The Driver Said”
Boerum Hill?
It used to be
Gowanus.
This ain’t no neighborhood.
If ya butcher
Comes to ya funeral
That’s a neighborhood.

Matthew Rohrer
Park Slope
ADVANTAGE: Has published six books of poetry and sometimes evokes the Mets in his verse.
DISADVANTAGE: Sometimes evokes the Mets in his verse.


“Morning Glory on the Roof”
You have already noted the girlish beauty
Of the Morning Glory,
The delicate lavendar panties.
Looking around you,
As far as you can see,
Plants are imprisoned.
Each morning Morning
Glories open upstairs,
Out of sight.
Each night the concrete lies
Like a hot compress on the dirt.
Thank you for your brief attention.

Sharon Mesmer
Park Slope
ADVANTAGE: A funny, vivacious poet who studied under Allen Ginsberg.
DISADVANTAGE: Is liable to mention her sexual history. And she has a poem titled, “Holy Mother of Monkey Poo.”


“Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing In Brooklyn”
She’s a white girl dancing braless in his teenage basement bedroom.
He’s a doughy-faced guy with his tonsils in a bottle.
She’s planning to seduce him on the Staten Island Ferry.
He’s marrow-close and loaded with his first true kiss.
She thinks, “You’re nobody ’til you remind somebody of their mother.”
He just wants to go to Bombay and be alone.
She just wants a few near-death experiences.
He’s hungry for a passion bitter and damp as a last cigarette.
She first saw him masturbating off the Brooklyn Bridge on Easter.
He first saw her face down on Christmas Day, repeating, “Don’t I know you from the Poconos?”
She imagined him blonde and bovine between the stale sheets of a Times Square Hotel.
He imagined his next confession.
He invited her over for some chicken pot pie.
He lived in his parents’ wood-panelled basement.
A plastic St. Anthony stood on the lawn.
His mother was on the phone with her sister Rosetta.
He had a low IQ, but figured he could hide it.
His parents being cousins was what caused it.
Someone once told him his dull look was sexy.
He thought he’d be smart to talk about religion.
Her cheap cologne was intoxicating.
His slow tongue was shaking in reverse: words frequent and forgettable as waves.
She was imagining a cocktail party diamond-high above Manhattan
He was imagining excitement like a biblical epic.
Her heart was breaking like an Arctic ice floe.
He put on his blond armor.
She felt numb as needles.
He felt like Longinus on the subway.
They went down to his basement and closed the door.
She spotted “Victoria’s Secret” catalogues under back issues of Intellectual American.
He said, “I only buy them for the articles.”
They watched “Star Trek” videos with the sound turned off.
They played old James Taylor records.
He said, “I’d like to explore the erotic aspect of this relationship.”
She said, “Can it wait ’til the commercial?”
He said, “Have you ever read ‘The Waste Land’”?
She said, “My last boyfriend took me to Hoboken for the weekend.”
They drove around on the Belt Parkway.
They parked in the shadow of the Verrazano Bridge.
They felt like tourists in a phantom America.
He put his hand inside her blouse.
He smiled and said, “You like that, don’t you?”
She felt hot and monotonous, like a country of no seasons.
She fantasized a bath and baby powder.
He had the sensation of running hard on a dark suburban street, feeling skinless and full of eyes.
He said, “Be my Ariadne.”
Ten minutes passed big and slow like clouds.
She said, “What’s an Ariadne?”
He recalled a book by Aldous Huxley: “The Genius and the Goddess.”
He began eagerly to anticipate the terror in the morning, the terror in the evening, the terror at suppertime,
An abuse so true he would touch the stars.
Now she’s a white girl dancing braless
In his teenage basement bedroom.
Now he’s a doughy-faced guy flying crosstown towards Canarsie.

Leon Freilich
Park Slope
ADVANTAGE: A parodist with a rapier sword and a witty epee
DISADVANTAGE: His poems are a bit of a joke, truth be told.


“A Cooler 13th”
Steel bars do not a prison make
When it’s bar mitzvah day
And Daddy’s obligated to
Celebrate and pray.
So Tuvia Stern, an inmate at
The fabled New York Tombs,
Transcended lockup etiquette
And ordered party rooms.
He had the gym festooned with bunting
And rocked with festive strains
Provided by an Orthordox group
That blew out everyone’s brains.
Kin and kith and friends galore
All danced and sang out lustily,
Serenading the bar mitzvah boy
Religiously and robustily.
They ate and drank like Rahm Emanuel
Or baseball’s Leo Durocher,
The food having been most carefully catered
To be ultra-strictly kosher.
Sixty guests held forth in the cooler
For fully six-plus hours
While eight correction officers
Kept guard over baskets of flowers.
The guards as well made sure the party
Remained a private affair,
Keeping other prisoners
From infiltrating there.
The only jailbird to be found
Was the influential dad,
Who may be a convicted scammer
But on this day wasn’t bad.

The fraudster’s now upstate and serving
Two-and-a-half to seven
But at least he gave his now-a-man son
A taste of party heaven.
And he’s done the same for his lovely daughter —
Stern showed his jailhouse dash
Again when he had outsiders in
For her engagement bash.

The Brooklyn Paper / Mike Short

Lynn Chandhok
Park Slope
ADVANTAGE: A bi-cultural poet who would add diversity to the male-dominated poetic world.
DISADVANTAGE: A bit academic, which could hurt her outreach efforts.


“Confetti, Ticker Tape”
I want to say they’re swallows. In September,
when we were feeding everyone we could,
we’d look for them above the tracks on Ninth Street.
What startled me was how their undersides
caught the light, flashed silver, how the group
would swoop and rise like wind itself, the flock
vanishing every time it changed directions,
how the birds hung on air and clung together
circling above us, silver, like the squares
we thought were bits of fuselage or flakes
of skyscraper, falling, until they floated
towards us, lower, landing on our front stoop
and I picked the papers up, but they were blank —
one after the other, blank, burned at the edges.
Richard Bowditch

They Might Be Giants
Williamsburg
ADVANTAGE: Might be the single most-identifiable Brooklyn-based rock band. Ever.
DISADVANTAGE: Let’s be real: it is well documented why Constantinople changed its name to Istanbul.


“Ana Ng”
Make a hole with a gun perpendicular
To the name of this town in a desk-top globe
Exit wound in a foreign nation
Showing the home of the one this was written for
My apartment looks upside down from there
Water spirals the wrong way out the sink
And her voice is a backwards record
It’s like a whirlpool and it never ends
Ana Ng and I are getting old
And we still haven’t walked in the glow of each other’s majestic presence
Listen Ana, hear my words
They’re the ones you would think I would say if there was a me for you
All alone at the ’64 World’s Fair
Eighty dolls yelling, “Small girl after all”
Who was at the Dupont Pavilion?
Why was the bench still warm? Who had been there?
Or the time when the storm tangled up the wires
To the horn on the pole at the bus depot
And in the back of the edge of hearing
These are the words that the voice was repeating:
Ana Ng and I are getting old
And we still haven’t walked in the glow of each other’s majestic presence
Listen Ana, hear my words
They’re the ones you would think I would say if there was a me for you
When I was driving once I saw this painted on a bridge:
“I don’t want the world, I just want your half.”
They don’t need me here, and I know you’re there
Where the world goes by like the humid air
And it sticks like a broken record
Everything sticks like a broken record
Everything sticks until it goes away
And the truth is, we don’t know anything
Ana Ng and I are getting old
And we still haven’t walked in the glow of each other’s majestic presence
Listen Ana, hear my words
They’re the ones you would think I would say if there was a me for you
C. Taylor Crothers

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