The Unluckiest Man in Manhattan

Reads: 5249  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 183

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

Stuff sometimes pours out of my head, unbidden. This one's not neccesarily my own favourite, but don't let it know.

The Unluckiest Man in Manhattan

The unluckiest man in Manhattan

was crossing Delancey one day

when he found himself knee deep in guano

with a Llama bird blocking his way

In a coat of many colors

though most of the colors were black

(it’s not that the colors weren’t there,

it’s just pigmentation they lacked)

‘Hey Llama boid, hi, how you doin’?’

he greeted the obstacle thus

though inside his insides were churning

and his outsides felt struck by a bus

For this wasn’t the only occasion

he’d found Llama bird stood in his way

and he knew from their previous engagement

Llama bird would demand that he say

Something verbally dexterous or tricky

words his tongue would be wrestling with soon

or his path would be blocked for eternal

or the very least thirty past noon

Like Oedipus meeting the Griffin

or Moses confronting the bush

the unluckiest man in Manhattan

felt an urge from that precinct to rush

But the Llama bird had no intention

to break up their scene in that way

so he wrapped up our hero in powerful wings

and politely requested he stay

Now our hero, whose name was Johobo

or sometimes just Yoho for short

Realized it was futile to struggle

in the Llama bird’s web he was caught

So he threw out his pride and his ego

and threw himself down on his knees

Then on bended legs, he shamelessly begged

and besieged his foe’s ear with these pleas

‘Oh Llama boid pray grant me freedom

I have an appointment to keep:

A man I once knew said he’d meet me at two

and it’s now almost fifty past three

If I fail to attend said appointment

my poor reputation is doomed

It’s bad as it is, since I failed in that quiz

‘bout my nocturnal trips to the Zoo

The police say they’ll have no compunction

since compunction’s in such short supply

I’ll be locked in a cage ‘til I surpass the age

old Methuselah had when he died

The Llama bird watched with no pity

as Yoho continued to squirm

The very foundations of old New York City

were ashamed they‘d produced such a worm

But Yoho was twenty past caring

engrossed by the fix he was in

He had only one aim – it was always the same –

to salvage his own precious skin

The climax was swiftly approaching

the Llama bird took a deep breath

“You’re dying to ask,’ he said, “What is the task,

that will shortly result in your death.”

‘You’re mistaken,’ Yohobo informed him

‘Curiosity’s just not my thing.’

The bird played his ace: ‘That may well be the case

but my song you are still going to sing.

‘And sing it in numerous accents

I will choose from those parts of the earth

Who have problems with speech, those who bellow and screech

who have vocal chords mangled at birth

From places like Atlanta, Georgia

To Liverpool, England near France

From Brooklyn to Oz, Northern Ireland because

they speak brogue and wear brogues when they dance

If you fail in this task I will set you

your soul will be mine for all time

Not to mention your liver and kidneys

which I’ll simmer in butter and wine

Your brains I will keep in cold storage

to peruse at my leisure one day

While your feet gently stew and the remnants of you

will be pickled in sweet Chardonney

Yohobo searched, frantic, for freedom

in every direction he knew -

East North West and South, while the Llama bird’s mouth

was a torrent of digestive goo

There was no escape, that much was certain

and lunchtime was coming up quick

The Llama bird tucked in his napkin

Yohobo was physically sick

As he coughed up the last of his vomit

with his sinuses clogged up with chunks

stomach acid attacking enamel

inspiration asleep in its bunk

Poor Yohobo resigned himself sadly

to the fate fate had fated him for

He thought he’d been heading for 17th Street

Who’d have guessed that address was Death’s door?

The Llama bird pressed on, relentless

preparing the words for his prey

Like a gourmet selecting the finest of foods

he knew just what Yohobo must say

But as he began to recite them

and Yoho prepared for the slab

Llama birD from this world was most untimely ripped

yes indeed, he was struck by a cab

And the irony rained down like silver

as the Llama bird lay there, quite dead

For the cab driver didn’t know English

from the holes in a Killer Whale’s head

Yohobo rejoiced for a moment

then quietly tiptoed away

The unluckiest man in Manhattan

had finally had a good day

Submitted: January 24, 2012

© Copyright 2022 Chris Gerard. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:



funny!! very well written, i like the rhythm and the rhyme didn't get in the way. i got to go with the flow and enjoy the story. you have quite a knack. that must have been a blast to write!

Tue, January 24th, 2012 3:23pm


This was absolutely fantastic! Such an enjoyable read. Great job. :) Sherry

Wed, February 1st, 2012 8:02pm


Hi Sherry. I thought I'd replied to your kind comments, or commented on some of your work by way of response. If I did, could you confirm, and if I didn't, can you accept my apology and a promise that I will do so in the very near future. Thanks.

Sat, February 11th, 2012 2:35pm


Wow this was great!!

Thu, February 2nd, 2012 3:06am


Didn't know how to reply to comments before so left the following on your poem:

Wow. This really touched me - being a father of a daughter, having had dad issues of my own - lots of reasons. Beautifully written and sad without being maudlin or sinking into self-pity. I'll definitely read more. Thanks for reading my nonsense and for your kind comments

Sat, February 4th, 2012 4:54pm

Christian Taylor

This is very unique! I've read only a handful of poems that are written in this format(storytelling poetry) and this is well-told story. Great rhythem and an excellent piece!

I also want to congrats on having this poem getting featured. Your poem replaced mine and I will tell you that its an honor to be featured! Enjoy it while you can! XD

- Christian Taylor

Thu, February 2nd, 2012 5:58am


this is very written and i love the storytelling in this song, it flows also well this is really amazing love it.

Thu, February 2nd, 2012 4:55pm


......without further ado...i love it!

Fri, February 3rd, 2012 2:28pm

Raven Hazlewood

Super entertaining! I love poetry that tells a story! You should write more like this...I absolutely love it!

Sat, February 4th, 2012 4:30am


Thank you Raven, or whatever your name is. I like to know someone's age and gender, if only so I can make my own comments more relevant. Your own writing is fine: I'm guessing you're young-ish, so you just need to keep reading a lot and writing a lot. Best of luck, and thanks again.

Sat, February 4th, 2012 4:01pm


really entertaining :)

Sat, February 4th, 2012 6:46pm


Thank you, glad I made you smile. Your poems touched me, too, in a different way. Nice work.

Sat, February 4th, 2012 3:41pm

teggie it:)

Sat, February 4th, 2012 8:51pm


Thank you. I try to visit the sites of everyone who leaves me a comment, and return the courtesy. Unfortunately I'm losing track of who I've read and who I haven't, so please let me know if I've missed you out and I will make amends as soon as possible. Thanks again for reading my poem. Try another, they're just as stupid and hopefully funny.

Wed, February 8th, 2012 1:43pm


Amazing, funny, interesting it's all those good stuff man keep at it, if you want you could also check out my stuff =D

Sun, February 5th, 2012 7:52am


Hi, thanks for your comment. I like your poems, and the english is excellent - I assume it's your second language. All the best.

Sun, February 5th, 2012 5:06am


I'm not a great fan of poetry but the title intrigued me and I have to say I really enjoyed it, fun, flowing and very well written. Llama bird scared me a little ;)

Mon, February 6th, 2012 4:28pm


Thank you. I'm not a great fan of poetry either, but I am a fan of your story, From The Day We Met. I think it's the best thing I've read on this site (apart from my own stuff, ha ha). It was moving, powerful and well written. Why do you sound unsure of yourself? And why label your story gay and lesbian? It deserves as wide a readership as possible. I'm not gay or lesbian so I probably would never have come accross it if you hadn't commented on my poem. I'm glad you did. Thanks again and all the best.

Mon, February 6th, 2012 1:55pm


I like it very much. Honestly. :)

Tue, February 7th, 2012 4:05am


Thank you. Appreciated. I'll have a look at your stuff and get back to you. Cheers

Tue, February 7th, 2012 1:38am


wow, this has to be one of my favorite things ive read here. great syntax and very funny.

Tue, February 7th, 2012 4:27am


Thank you very much. I will read some of yours and get back to you. All the best.

Tue, February 7th, 2012 1:36am

KD Jyot

Your writing style is amazing. Ive only read some poems in this story-telling style but had liked only one poet's and now I can say count has reached upto two (the second one being you, ofcourse). And I dont know what to say that the other comments have not said. So I'd again repeat that it was a really intresting and worthwhile read.

Tue, February 7th, 2012 1:25pm


Thank you KD. I've read some of your poems and you have great promise (not that I know anything about poetry, but I know when someone has talent). I've left a comment for you after All and Lost, which is beautiful. Thank you again for your comments.

Tue, February 7th, 2012 2:26pm

My Overactive Imagination

i've never read anything like this! it was fantastic! your an amazing poet, the way you made a fable-ish poem and crafted all the words and rhyme so neatly! and quite honestly i had a little giggle to myself once or twice, no wonder you made the featured page!!

Tue, February 7th, 2012 5:12pm


Thank you so much. I've been to your page and left a comment on your valentine poem: You are a true wordsmith, so your praise is very valuable and very welcome. Thanks again.

Wed, February 8th, 2012 1:33pm


I am no expert but I enjoyed the style and flow of this piece. It read like a limerick which is fun and it never tripped over the rhymes. Excellent.

Tue, February 7th, 2012 5:26pm


Thank you very much. I read some of your stuff. The first thing I liked was the 'no reading requests' request - it bugs me that people post these things without reading our stuff first, so nice one. The second thing I liked was that you are obviously intelligent and literate, so your comment and the fact you took time out, means a great deal. The third thing I liked was '..she fell down the stairs.' Beautifully written and beautifully restrained, so all the more powerful for that. The Jamal piece was also excellent (is it true?). I was in finance in the 80's so it brought back memories. Thanks again, and all the best.

Tue, February 7th, 2012 1:47pm


LOL! That was funny! Its so hard to find poetry here that isn't about love or death.

Tue, February 7th, 2012 11:13pm


Thank you, you're so right. In fact, I always start off trying to write about love and death, then something takes over and I end up with stuff like this. I think it's called denial, or escapism or something. I'm off to read some of your stuff right now. Thanks again.

Wed, February 8th, 2012 1:19am

Denis Goodwin

This is great, but strange. Here am I in Australia, you're in the UK, writing a Manhattan fantasy. As I read it, it loped along a bit like Bob Dylan's 115th Dream, or some of Ken Nordine's Word Jazz, or something like that. Have you ever tried performing this backed by a funky jazz trio? That's how it sounds to me. Is that weird?

Wed, February 8th, 2012 5:43am


Bloody hell, that's what I call a compliment. Thank you very much. You been at the VB, or something stronger? I wouldn't have the guts to stand on stage, with or without a Jazz trio, especially after seeing Mike Myers in I Married an Axe Murderer, but thanks for the thoughts. I'm off to your site now. Cheers

Wed, February 8th, 2012 1:16am

Rose Deller

This is really good, I enjoyed reading it! :) I love poetry and hope to put some of my poems up here, but I don't think they'll be as good as this! Congradulations on making it featured on the home page!

Thu, February 9th, 2012 7:22am


Thank you. No idea how it got on the featured page, but I'm glad it did. Visited your site and am really impressed. You are a very good writer and don't need advice from anyone, maybe just encouragement. Consider yourself encouraged. Thanks again.

Thu, February 9th, 2012 2:16am

towers of academe

it's interesting and very witty
your belly-aching little ditty,
you're acquainted with Shakespeare's Macbeth,
What's 17th street? Try googling, yes?
Thanks, enjoyable.

Fri, February 10th, 2012 10:00pm


Thank you Mr Towers, you are very very smart. I'm not sure if your writing is hyperbole or art. Kidding. I'll dig into it a bit more, but your appreciation is highly valued. 17th Street? It's one of my favourite New York streets, and it scanned nicely. Am I missing something? Thanks again, very much.

Sat, February 11th, 2012 2:05pm

Facebook Comments

Other Content by Chris Gerard

Short Story / Action and Adventure

Short Story / Humor