Harvey James is a model turned “model slash”. Having worked for some of the worlds leading fashion houses, Harvey has recently shifted his focus to start a career peddling the written word. To date he has been commissioned by Shortlist Magazine, Gentleman’s Journal and Huck Magazine to name but a few. Here Harvey showcases his love of the versified word in what he describes as “his most recent language brews”, alongside a selction of his 35mm photography.
I got on my bike and rode it
towards Brooklyn, between the towering
billboards overhead. First down cobbled
Crosby Street, where Birkenstock brunchers gorge
on poached eggs, washed with tomato cocktails.
Then under the bridge, where teenagers
sweat-out in skate parks. They’re enjoying themselves, I guess.
I pass a street vendor with bucket hats for sale. There
are tour-guides passing and preaching.
On to the Williamsburg Bridge, the latticed grey
metalwork, the path vaulting the sea,
above the city. The tourists stand in the path,
languorously agitating. A passerby clicks:
their faces drop back to normal. There
is peace on the bridge. It is 5:40 of
‘I think of cinemas, panoramic sleights
With multitudes bent toward some flashing scene
Never disclosed, but hastened to again,
Foretold to other eyes on the same screen’ - Mr. Hart Crane.
It’s film or Crane or Whitman or Williams or nothing.
I look and see the profligate city
taking a break, queueing for burritos, down the
side of Don Panchito’s van. An old, hunched lady
carries three dustbin bags over her shoulder, full
There are several Mexican vans
on the avenue today, filling the road
with colour and smell. A sign that people do
not totally regret life.
But are we naked? As naked as
Ginsberg talking, sitting in my flat,
having a drink, drinking,
telling me about nakedness,
lunches, jazz and dirt?
And one returns home and one rides,
past the truck depots, the scattered church flyers
and broken windows. Past Roberta’s pizza garden
which they’ll soon expand. I used to think
Manhattan was the world. I think I still do.
Clad in confusion
I sit & stew
In protest of the view from my window
Soft white petalled ice
our pretty English life
Burn down the schools and derail the trains
Sick with fear of foreigners, women and snow.
The Mad Dog in the Fog
With laboured strides
I climb the alabaster street.
In a midday dream
tripping over my stumble.
A dizzying concoction of sirens
sun and ice cream.
My left arm bashed by a vintage Leica
my right brushed by a bearded man.
My shot aligned:
The beat poets trapped like birds
inside this street sign.
Marijuana mouths waft past exhaling:
“There ain’t nothin’ but lurrrrv on this street.”
Drunk on the halcyon spirits
of this concrete mess
of this dirtied paradise where hippies rest
and Dylan swirling in my head.
Hunger digs his little fingers into my stomach
howling for a Cheesesteak.
Are they looking at me?
Sparks spit from the metal ceiling
as I bumper-car down the street
with my handful of meat.
How could one write such poetry?
It’s here, Allen, I understand.