Coney Island

     Who ever thought of it as the peninsula it is. Inhabited by native Americans and called Narrioch, a ” land without shadows”, “always in the light”, its beaches facing south and ‘always in the light; a “point” or “corner of the land”. Come 1600’s and it’s Dutch bought for a gun, a blanket and a kettle.     Also called Coninen Island, then Coney Hook, then maybe Conyn Eylandt, maybe even Konah, even Colman after John Coleman, slain by the natives 1609.


So I write about my Coney, phony, and for me my lonely island.

Land of rides and fun’s placations,

First such park for work vacations.

Frankfurters with kraut and mustard,

Frozen custard, chocolate syrup on the top.

Brooklyniters, Jackson Heighters…New York City’s pop…ulation

Come by subway all that way.

(Who had a car? Everything and place was far,

Every stranger from a land they landed from –

At least their dads or moms or grand or great-grand dads and moms:

Generation and the nation of the 20’s 30’s, 40’s).

Cotton candy, candied apples sweet outside, sour within.

Who thought of sugar then?

Who thought of staying thin?

Miles and miles of sand – all gray.

Cold Atlantic blocks away.

Parachute ride, new and daring.

Arlene Nover, longing, raring.

Merry-go-round wan and childish,

She, wildishly shy, tongue-tied,

Watched by grownups there not sharing any wooden horse beside

Which could have turned the ride

To fun

No parent un-derstood.

Clear and queer these memories.

Showing up spontaneously.

Sequences squeezed out of fate

Some seventy years later – late.

Coney Island 5.1.2017

Pure Nakedness;

Arlene Corwin



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