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Poetry Friday: Meeting Frank in A Cafe

This poem was prompted by a photograph I unearthed recently. The visit to one of Frank Sinatra's favoured haunts from his Hoboken, New Jersey days, is deeply etched in my memory. I recall two visits during the six amazing years based in New York. For me, as for the late Jim Croce, photographs and memories are forever linked. They are often the essential pairing for new words. I look. I think for quite some time and then I wait for my pen to lead me like a flashlight towards new discoveries. Such is the magic of poetry...

Meeting Frank In A Cafe

Seated in a Brooklyn cafe
At a table cloaked in checks of red and white squares.
Where tall, silent waiters wearing ties stood by waiting to catch our orders.
And pictures of Frank Sinatra splashed black and white memories
across the walls.
Each frame, trapped a moment.
Each image, a slice of a larger life.

We ordered pizzas. 
-Mozzarella and a sprinkle of basil,
As Frank hung about watching everyone eat, talk
-and drink Chianti.
All the while memories trickled down the wall

Hearts ached a little
-But that's life
As Frank used to say.


  1. I grew up in NJ, close to the city (Bergen County). I've been to Hoboken, too, for not for long. I liked your Sinatra-infused poem!

    1. Thank you BJ. I'm glad you liked my poem. I enjoyed the process involved in 'making' it.

  2. splashed black and white memories Great line!

    I've been to Hoboken only once--to attend a funeral. I would love to go back to visit Grimaldi's.

    1. Grimaldi's is actually in Dumbo, Brooklyn. The story goes, Frank and his friends used to drive from Hoboken often late at night to have pizza. Like you Diane, I only recall going to Hoboken once and We were on our way to somewhere else.

  3. Not sure I'll ever get there, but I loved that you were, Alan, and introduced Grimaldi's to me. I grew up with Frank, love hearing about a place that still has a piece of him., those "memories trickling down the wall."

    1. My Dad preferred Bing Crosby, but I think he still liked Frank. Glad you liked the trickling memories line Linda. Hope you get to Grimaldi's one day in order to relive some memories.

  4. I'm glad your poem took us to Hoboken today. If I ever make it, I know where I want to eat!

    1. If my poem made you hungry or nostalgic, then I'm pleased. Don' t get lost Kay. Grimaldi's is in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Frank came from Hoboken NJ just to eat there and hang out with his friends.

  5. I agree that photos and memories (and then poems) are all inextricably linked!

    1. It provides a great stimulus to the writer within doesn't it?. I think that is why I love photography Mary Lee

  6. Who can resist Sinatra and pizza? Now that's a winning combo!

    1. A nice perspective Molly. I quite like that.


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