Gene Palma


Palma’s fingernails were yellow and split like the edges of a sun bleached oyster shell. His resume was wedged under an armpit cloaked in synthetic blackwatch plaid. A leisure suit inhabited by a man who looked like leisure would only come with death. Lifetime accomplishments scribbled on an old piece of stained cardboard. A list of talk shows and a movie by a well known director. ‘I like dat Rudy Valentino cat…er..dats why I puts shoe polish in my hairs’..eh… Rudi did dat’…he muttered in a syncopated style akin to Krupa’s drumming. He stood in a Chelsea tub…cheap white tile as his backdrop…waiting for the camera’s click… ‘One day a real rains gonna come and wash da scum from dis batroom”! The tungsten lamp was gel-less…a mistake which produced a film hue similar to the complexion of his fingernails…his life…and the city 25 years ago…’dirty gold’.