Rachel Hawkins-Crockford

the NYC literary tour

(Greenwich Village, 2017)


the literary pub crawl begins here at the White Horse Tavern

we sit on bar stools with your friend who is

oh so New York in long, crisp navy wool

and we raise our glasses to Dylan Thomas

who died outside this inn


its twelve o’clock when we begin

to follow a loudmouthed pair who are

our hosts, from bar to bar

through Greenwich Village

they’re mad or at least they have

the gift that Thomas had, the gab


we drink New York IPA, not whiskey

while they leap on tables and recite his poetry

regale us with stories of horny Henry Miller

and steamy Anais Nin

then somewhere off the Avenue of Americas

they guide us past cummings house, we don’t go in


we pause in some other bar instead

then hang a left on Thomson

arriving at the Grand Ticino

where he ate steak and drank with Allen Curnow

(a Kiwi like me)


some six, not sixteen, ales later on

they leave us on the sidewalk outside the Stonewall Tavern

another public inn of infamy


we go inside for another

(a whiskey this time I think)


it’s five o’clock

I could get maudlin now

I’m older at forty something than Dylan ever was

although the winter’s sun is fading fast

and I’m not sure what to make of that

I’m no wild old woman raging

raging at the last


so this is where we pause again

and raise another glass


What a pleasure it was, in the middle of yet another Covid lockdown, to revisit through writing the New York city pub crawl I went on with my husband and an old friend of his some years ago. Double the pleasure in fact. To write it was to be there again on a bar stool in Greenwich Village drinking New England IPAs. Then reading it to be workshopped I got to take some new friends along with me for the ride.