The restaurant parking lot,
a ten foot-tall maze
of shiny SUVs,
A Jaguar crouches
at the foot of a palm –
Two disheveled stars
and brazenly call for
Ferguson the valet,
keys in hand, turns to say:
Flanagan had a big stainless diving watch.
Paid a few hundred bucks for it – Swiss-make, you know.
Well he loved to go shark fishing with his boys
seventy, eighty miles off the coast.
On the way out it was strictly business,
but coming home they'd get hammered.
So this one time, you see, they're in the marina,
their charter is parking alongside the dock.
Well Flanagan, he's crocked, three sheets to the wind –
he falls right off the back of the boat.
The skipper's got her in reverse and Flanagan
is flailing about like he never learned to swim.
Now when his buddies pull him out they all look down:
he's got this thing on his wrist that's all ate up.
The drunken fool should've lost his hand,
probably should've drowned,
but the prop hit that big stainless diving watch.
Flanagan was one lucky son of a bitch.
Riordan, Jimmy Riordan,
was an ex-pug turned thug
who darkened the darkness
of the Blarney Stone by day.
He'd come alive around five
when all the working stiffs ducked in
for a few quick belts
before their trains out of Penn.
Downing a shot and a beer –
Alka-Seltzer to chase
the chaser – he'd cock his
cauliflower ear to eavesdrop
on unsuspecting marks.
Used to be a decent
southpaw, tough in the clinch;
now he throws the rabbit punch.
Hey, you remember Sully?
Yeah, the kid with the kooky-eye.
Well I heard he made a killing
before the market took a dive.
Guy used to fetch our coffees,
now take a guess where he lives?
A loft in TriBeCa. On breaks
he was trading derivatives.
Yeah, my boy Flynn ran into him
down on West Broadway Friday night;
He's banging some hot Russian chick,
one of them mail-order brides.
Kid runs his own boiler room now,
but he's still got the kooky-eye.
Snug in a booth at my favorite pizza parlor
With a new-pie slice and a Dr. Pepper,
I was listening to the wisdom of "Brother Louie"
When in through the door walked Jerry Tuohy.
Like his angry herald, the din of a city-bound 7
Trampled underfoot the first licks of "Stairway to Heaven."
His glare was fierce, his panoply formidable.
His T-shirt proclaimed "Joe Cool." His Duncan Imperial
Shone ruby-red as he deftly sent it on another round.
His dome, bowl-cut and combed, gleamed like a rufous crown.
He wore Toughskins, with their reinforced knee,
And royal-blue Pro-Keds — hi-tops, naturally.
Tuohy cased the room through a freckled squint;
I hailed him anyway with a thrust and drop of my chin.
Just then, the recorder's mellow air poured from the jukebox.
Tuohy nodded back and started hiking up his tube socks.