Jack Dempseys bar New York 1980

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In Nineteen eighty I was again in New York. On this occasion I wanted to visit the world champion boxer Jack Dempsey's bar/restaurant. A homage to his place on Broadway, I attired myself appropriately in black suit, white shirt and black tie, I looked like a reservoir dog.

Whilst sat in the bar area I was engaged by two US marines who challenged me to a drinking competition... they're so full of macho rubbish! The drink was chosen by them and was to be a bourbon called Wild Turkey, after a short while one of the marines vomited... epic fail as our young now say.

But it was a wonderful experience to visit the great mans place.

I wrote this.... in Homage.


Jack Dempsey’s NY 1980


Oh god. Oh Dear.

A hangover in New York New York.

Small recollections through

hazes of alcohol pulsed pain.

Shaking fingers fumbling

for coffee and cigarette.

In a dark wood cased cabin

from sweat stinking bunk.

A million other people

who jerked through the same dance.

Night before around the world.

I stepped in time with you.


On subways that fled past

as horizontal kaleidoscopes

filled with germs and smoke,

And the lost waiting mindlessly

For a gap to mind.

With silent frightened dwellers

seen in a thousand unseen glimpses.

Speeding past every mugger

and murderer in New York.

On the way to towers of shit

and drugs and petty insanity.

I’d smartened up for the task

Black suit, white shirt

Black tie silver tie clasp.

I looked like a

Reservoir dog.


“Noo Yoik and beef boigers”.

Broadway was

Waiting for me.

My goal that night.

Jack Dempsey’s bar full

of punch drunk memories.

“Get the Limey a drink”.

Broken old pugs living

to fight again in Jacks bar.

Walls washed in raging bulls,

floating butterflies and marvellous sugar.

“Hey man you wanna wild toiky”.

Unwanted but necessary,

Bourbon drinking competition.

Two US marines vomited their youth away.

They underestimated their challenge.

“You’d better clean that up motherfucker”.


Barmaid has peroxide hair

A tattooed tear

And a way with words.

The competition never trained.

As I had, from sixteen.

Fisherboy to Fisherman,

trying to be both.

Never growing up.

We had hard drinking trainers.

On Hessel Rd in “Raynors”.

◄ Granddad.

C:\ for the brain ►


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Paul Sayer

Fri 10th Jul 2020 23:31

How can I have missed this kind of lifelike portrait of life scribbled with you pen Phil.

I have lots of fun to catch up on.... It's almost like being a fly on the wall.

The anchors raised

and its

Full steam ahead!

What a great observational poet you are.


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