The News Factory

 

 

The News Factory is collection of stories of some of New York City's most brilliant personalities, people who will never be in feature films or hit the pop charts but who are brilliant, with wonderful ideas, artistic talents, story tellers, musicians and so on. In many ways the stories told in this collection of works, mostly told through poetry, is about the soul of what New York city used to be about, a place to be yourself without putting on airs. The collective meaning of this book is also about what is lost with the white washing of history that comes with gentrification. In many ways this is the most personal of my three books.

 

In his new collection of poems and short stories, Matthew Abuelo pays homage to Dexter House, NYC, a SRO he called home for many years. The volume brings to life the strong ties among the tenants of the once affordable housing option in the city: “Will you know the Jerusalem of their hearts?/ those of the Dexter house/ who travel in time/ of fading New York/ not as travelers/ but as pictures…” The residents’ pain of losing their homes seeps through graphic urban imagery: “Do you know the language of the Dexter House?” asks Abuelo. It is a language “built on tears and the mantra called beauty…” The collection speaks volumes as social commentary—a valuable and insightful contribution to the genre. –Dr. Dina Ripsman Eylon, poet and scholar.

 

 

Leave your Sunday clothes at home for The News Factory, a collection of poetry and stories by Matthew Abuelo that is based on the experience of living in New York City. This is a powerful collection of pieces that highlight the experiences of those who really make New York City the greatest city in the world. It concerns the struggling artists and personalities who give it color and spice, yet are often the most ignored, oppressed, and vulnerable. Rather than speak to the pretty aspects of the city, Abuelo paints the underbelly of New York City living. The atmosphere is mostly dark and muggy. His witty short stories evoke not only a battle with vermin, neighbors, and in love, but ultimately, survival in a city that increasingly oppressive towards the creatives. –Cindy Loraine Horowitz Editor of On The Magazine

 

 

Our community news writer Matthew Abuelo has a new book available and T2C had a chance to review it. This prolific writer has two other books out Organic Hotels and Last American Roar. Through Matthew’s words we are taken on a ride through 21st century New York and the people who cling to shreds of hope and humanity. Years ago artists of all kinds were honored. The city gave them low rent SRO’s and they gave New York character and art in all forms. Now those artists are older, in places like Dexter House and are losing their homes and their dignity at time they can not fight back. “The News Factory: Notes From A Dying City” is a love letter aimed at those of us who dream and fall through society’s cracks, and don’t measure up to their ideal of who we are suppose to be. For all of us who the box does not fit, this book will touch you. Abuelo’s realism is a stark reflection of the failed American Dream in the eyes of those who believed the fantasy. Lines like, “The sideshow fancies are swallowed into the brown snow soul of the East Coast and melts into the carnival’s last gleaming.” Or “whose eyes are churches of the voided God of consumption,” speak like volumes onto a canvas where the poor or downtrodden have no voice until Abuelo speaks for them. This is the nitty and the gritty, yet so profoundly written that the slowly dwindling melting pot that made up New York is rising fiercely back up to make one last stand. Boldly Abuelo heads up their army with pen in hand. –Suzanna of the time square chronicles

MY BOOKS

© 2023 by Saman

Guilt

 

Why do we race for the scrap heaps of all forgotten things?

Is it to watch the plumes of smoke

Bellowing from a future

Which is not a future but wasted hours waiting

For men and women to finally stand

But who never stood for anything at all?

Do you understand?

And what are the solutions

When the young become as brutal as New York City landlords

Turning our buildings into shooting galleries

For out of towners who walk pretty

In their cock sure skin

With its perfect glow

And whose gravity broadens the shoulders of

Those who live with bent backs

From the labor of becoming exhibits

For those who will never stay

but will always be

Just visiting.

As one mayor put it

“New York is open for business”.

The brutality Mr. Algren is that only the truly wealthy

Can own a judge

And getting off on a misdemeanor is afforded only to

Those who can pay the price of admission of staying out of the tombs.

 

 

2

 

Are we (the new Indians)

To be buried under the ruins

That were our rooms

Or the bathroom that sat at the end of the hall?

 

Oh New York

With your buildings as clean as ancient Rome

Would you have the waters of the Hudson River

Wash us away into the oceans

And our breath bleached from your air?

And what are air rights other than

A rich man’s attempt to claim the horizon as his own?

Are we to wash up on the shores of Plumb Island

With all the news papers

Used syringes and Coney Island white fish?

Even the taxi driver who passes through the nights

On streets that are nowhere avenues to him

Will never call the great pinball machine of Time Square home.

His place is across the George Washington Bridge where he disappears

Into the view across the Hudson.

Someone saw to that along time ago

In some backroom deal.

 

You can’t love a city

Unless you love its ghosts

Who will always haunt the SRO of the heart.

They are all there here:

The subway suicide diver

Whose last act of desperation delayed the 1 train for 6 hours.

The squeegee man

who will forever clean passing windshields at new intersections with old and soiled water

The shut in

who lost her mind only to be locked up in Saint Lukes

The street artist who found his lot among other street artists in Washington Square Park

Before freezing to death in the jaws winter.

Or all of the iron workers whose words will never make it into the history

As dirty faced testimonies of those buried under the concrete

Of a story white washed.

Richard who wound up on the streets after being evicted from the apartment he was born in

 for being a hoarder

Only to be let back in a few months later

Then dying in the hospital two weeks later.

There is the cop who was shot in the head up in the Bronx

And the punk still looking for a place to play

Now that CBGB is gone

 

A question to the city from a letter

Are you really a dying arcade?

 

ta Jonse. Proudly created with Wix.com

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