Wendy Rainey

Link to home pageLink to current issueLink to back issuesLink to information about the magazineLink to submission guidelinesSend email to misfitmagazine.net

A New Yorker

A New Yorker is like an old whore
bent over a chair,
Busting balls in a diner,
bitching on the F train,
or crammed, rammed, and packed
onto a busload of beer-bellied bastards,
dirty diapers jammed between seats,
roaches screwing in the aisle.

A New Yorker is like a floozy
slapped on her once magnificent ass
by a mobster
while buying whiskey and cigarettes
at the bodega.
Teetering on stilettos,
she jams a steel heel
into his crotch,
bashing his head
with the nearest jar of borscht.

A New Yorker is forever complaining
about the weather.
Their souls are forged
on sweltering days
when the dog breath of humanity
licks their faces,
and on frigid nights
of shivering balls
and frosty lips,
their tongues sharpened to an icy point.

New Yorkers walk with purpose down the street
and their purpose
is to trample you
should you for one millisecond waver
or slow your pace
to smell the darling buds of May,
you tourist,
you amateur,
you asshole.

I once had a New Yorker tell me
my smile made me look like an escapee
from a mental ward.
Fuck your flowers and puppies on Facebook.
Fuck the Dodgers.
Fuck Disneyland.
Fuck Hollywood.
Fuck your sunshine.
Fuck your tan,
and fuck pineapple and ham
on your fuckin’ pizza.

Sometimes I want to be a New Yorker,
fueled by disgust
for all that is not utterly what I love.
Sickened by the mediocrity of the outside world,
I would dwell in my empire,
smugly satisfied
with my own beauty,
secure in the superiority
of my towering city.

In my mind New York is a magical place
where even the poor,
even the old,
even the insane
live like kings and queens
holding court
on the steps of a brownstone,
playing chess,
throwing hoops,
hopping Scotch,
while the fire hydrant
gushes from the center of the universe.

I had a dream once
that I was swinging like King Kong
from the Empire State Building.
Only I wasn’t a giant ape
I was just one small person
teetering on the ledge
in the dark of night,
looking out at the glittering lights of my kingdom,
my heart sinking at the thought
that I could ever leave her.


Here he comes again,
walking his teacup poodle
while texting.
Slow, aimless shuffle
in bedroom slippers.
His eyes never waver from his phone,
as my 100 lb Doberman
erupts into a low, guttural growl,
straining on the leash,
begging for a chance
to either eat him
or his precious little Fifi.

He smells of Hot Pockets
and semen, I imagine.
Listless from a night of nonstop porn.
Filled with righteous fury.
Smug in the knowledge
that he is taking over
the world.


Wendy Rainey is author of two booksHollywood Church: Short Stories and Poems and Girl On The Highway. She is a contributing poetry editor on Chiron Review. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in Nerve Cowboy, Trailer Park Quarterly, Red Fez and beyond. She studied poetry with Jack Grapes in Los Angeles and creative writing with Gerald Locklin at California State University, Long Beach.