Mastodon Taxi Night - Cliff Fyman - Poetry - Sensitive Skin Magazine

Taxi Night

Taxi Night

Like don’t go with me!
I’m sure it’s fine,
maybe I don’t
need to go, I don’t
know, maybe I should
just wait ‘till morning.
Like I don’t know!
If I wait another hour
or two you’re just going
to get mad at me even more
for not going to the hospital sooner.
I don’t want to waste
money it’s like you’re so annoyed this is exactly what
I mean look at you!
No! Look at how you treated me since I told you I wanted
to go to the hospital.
What are you talking about? What was that
little bullshit on the couch
all your little eye rolls
and all your little whatever? Guess what, Joe,
we’re going to get divorced
over this.
That i.v. helped me, that i.v.
they gave me got rid of…
I’m not going to just sit there if I have a blood clot
so just shut the fuck up! What I need to deal with
is my husband on top of all this?
Like it’s not bad enough?
Like I’m not worried enough?

Fence, E. 8th St. bet. Ave. B & Ave. C, 1984, photograph by Philip Pocock.
Fence, E. 8th St. bet. Ave. B & Ave. C, 1984, photograph by Philip Pocock


They’re twin brothers
late 30s
and they live together
and they came out to their
family and their family
is like ok but why don’t
you each live separately
and meet someone and settle
down and have kids? and
they’re like we don’t want to
meet anyone we like each
other and the family is like
ok and the brothers are
quiet about it because
there could be laws
against it.


made the biggest meal for
everyone on Rosh Hoshana. 
Do you remember? Every 
Jewish holiday is getting
so expensive it’s ridiculous. 
I’m not making a meal
after Yom Kippur.
Craig is Italian.
The mother’s boyfriend is 
Protestant. Ashley’s kids 
have dropped out of Talmud 
Torah. What fast are
they breaking? 
No one’s 


Boo-Boo, you’re my baby.
Once a week, once every two weeks.
I got my business. I respect your business, babe.
Heh-heh. We’re going to create a party, baby
–driver, when you get to 117th bust a left–
we’re going to create something gookey.
Hold on one second–hel-lo, I’ll be there in two minutes,
I’m in a cab already–back to you, Boo-Boo! You can come by,
let me see how go-o-o-d you’re lookin’.
So when we going to make this date?
I need to poke you, Boo-Boo. When
can I see you? Stop all this foolishness now.
When? Tomorrow? Thursday? Talk to me. I understand
what you’re doing. You got a friend. You got to
do what you got to do. You got to be easy
–first building on the corner–
I don’t want to have to bash his head in
he’ll think ‘let me get the license plate
of that truck’–heh heh heh!
What happened? What happened?
I don’t understand. We were like this!
You’ve been banned, fella. Heh-heh-heh.
–right here’s good, driver–


My sister she like had
this operation down there,
you know, to ‘rejuvenate,’
because she thought
she wasn’t pretty enough
to get remarried so she saved up
paid for the surgery
and didn’t tell my parents.
The doctor did an okay
job. Then she married
a loser anyway and had
another kid.
Your sister married a
person who sucks?
That sucks.

And when she had the surgery
I took care
of her because she was
sore, and I took care
of her daughter too–


She’s like VERY pregnant and comes bopping up
in a jumper WITHOUT
a shirt and from the side
all you can see is like
BRA some people fit into
our culture and some don’t.
She comes to work looking
VERY Sunday morning.


Listen, you want to fight
me? I’m gonna punch
your shit and send you
back to prison so suck
my prison dick. You know
you like to suck this dick,
bitch. You know you always
think about his dick.

“We were together 
at around age 11. I never
think about his dick 
a day in my life.”
You want
that really bad bad dick.

And you, driver,
for telling me what
to do
now you get no tip.



Yo, yo. Astoria Boulevard, make a right, take the highway,
and you a good brother.
Thank you so much
It’s sad
I’m a good black guy
and I can’t get a taxi!
That’s bullshit.
Where you from?
“I’m from here.
I grew up with white and black.”
No, where you from? You white? Where? Where?
Are you white or Spanish? Puerto Rican?
“I’m Jewish.”
O my gosh I work for Jewish people.
And I don’t want to hear anything.
These mothers have money.
Look, brother, you good, man. Exactly.
Oh, you are so good.
Go onto that highway, Grand Central,
you are good.
Damn, you a Jewish guy,
fuck you doing driving cars?
Really? Seriously? Nah, man, I don’t
believe that. You ain’t Jewish.
Jewish people I work for,
they got millions and millions
of dollars they so cheap.
Even if I had a recorder,
if I was on ABC I’d say this shit too. Cheap, man.
They got so much money.

I had a good time tonight.
I’m a bartender.
You know how much money I spent tonight?
I made $220 and I spent $140,
and I’m about to go spend some more money.
I got to pay the fare, right?

-Cliff Fyman

Photographs Poetry

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