Breaking Through

Cover Image

"New York" Poem by Amy Leigh Cutler (

Camera work by Amy Leigh Cutler and Charlotte Mayfield

"Breaking Through" by Ngonda Badila

Location: Riverbank State Park

Filmed on Panasonic Lumix

"New York"

by Amy Leigh Cutler

My New York is

Hold on tight
Let's light this night on fire,

And watch the fireworks fall and set
As the Brooklyn Bridge

And the Williamsburg bridge,

And the Manhattan Bridge.
They stay lit up til sunrise;

And Chinatown
Is the wick of it,

Lit up and flickering
Protons and neutrons

The friction making


Sparked by a discarded
Cigarette. We smoke to take a break
When the lines are too long

Or our brains are
Overheating. Smoke to let some steam off,
Overloaded with colour, sounds, and smells,

We eat until overfull
And then smoke to make room
For more.

In New York we always want more,
And it's always too much.
My New York sizzles in summer,
The pavement melts and moves
Making murky mirages
Out of Mercer street.
But in winter it's brick out here,

And the lights are as real
As the big candy apple
That we all bite right into.
The traps that we throw ourselves into
In the name of love
In the name of freedom
Are candy coated and soft in the middle.
Soft in the middle, we crystallize
Under sugared hopes and harden
Over; a clear red prison that we press against
In vain. Inescapable,

My New York comes with me
When I leave. In my sneakers and my brain,
Just details on the high tops and the common sense
To find my way around without

Moving too slow.
My New York is business and money for
Those who want it, and soup kitchens
With good hot food for those who need it.
Not a cold people, we are warmed from
Exhaust pipes and coffee and steam from
busy city kitchen back doors.

My New York is always awake

And never alone,

Only, mostly lonely,

And it's always too much.
In the hot and cold of it we smoke to make room and toss our
butts on Grand Street.

The fire starts there
And China town crackles.

Little Italy too
And the night is on fire.

New York explodes
And falls into bridges and mercury pavement
That we walk fast across with the speed of the city

On the bright candy shell of this big apple.

Created: Nov 17, 2010


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