West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Volume 77, Number 21 | October 24 - 30, 2007

Villager photo by Tequila Minsky

Old fashioned poet

“Would you like me to write a poem for you?,” asked the young man, a pork pie hat on his head, seated behind a collapsible TV table, where his Olympia portable typewriter sat. “How much?” said the passing fellow as he finished his ice cream in a cup. “$5,” answered the poet, William Crone.

“How about $2?” Dan Stern responded.

“Okay you want a $2 poem. On what subject?” prodded the poet.  Stern couldn’t decide.  “How about ice cream?” The poet asked, while the fellow lapped at the cup.

The poet began tapping at the keys.

Fourteen lines later, he took the piece of paper out.

The fellow handed him $2, the poet read it out loud, handed him the poem and kept a carbon copy.   

After the fellow walked a block, his ice cream finished, he pulled the sheet of paper out of his pocket and read the poem. 

The poet is stationed on E. 14th St. outside of Trader Joe’s most afternoons after 2 p.m.  Poems written on the spot are $5, but prices are negotiable.  They can be commissioned on a subject, inspired by a word or totally spontaneous. The poet “does as you will.”

— Tequila Minsky


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