De Niro Upstairs

On the third floor lives a charismatic young man
with De Niro good looks, a full-length leather coat
and the fortunate woman who won the lottery
to sleep with him.

His headboard bangs, the bed squeaks and squeals
like a train whistle blowing at midnight.
Their passion and sweaty embrace
penetrates my room, saturates my underutilized body.

The lady of the night sings his praises in high octaves,
loud, pleasurable moans and shrills
with every bounce and thump,
she keeps asking De Niro upstairs for more.

While I lie under the covers bored,
listening to the carnal pleasures above,
sleeping only with my virginal fantasies,
rising at dawn like a choirboy
for an English Lit class at nine.

I experience his moment vicariously
on a vacant brass bed in a boarding house room
to be the man of her dreams,
quivering and grateful for the opportunity
to be honored by the great De Niro upstairs.


Mark Tulin is a former mental health therapist from Philadelphia who lives in Santa Barbara, California. He has a poetry chapbook, Magical Yogis, published by Prolific Press, and two upcoming books: Awkward Grace, and The Asthmatic Kid and Other Stories. His work has appeared in Fiction on the Web, Ariel Chart, Amethyst Magazine, The Writing Disorder, among anthologies and podcasts.

Ira Joel Haber was born and lives in Brooklyn. He is a sculptor, painter, writer, book dealer, photographer and teacher. His work has been seen in numerous group shows both in the USA and Europe and he has had 9 one man shows including several retrospectives of his sculpture. His work is in the collections of The Whitney Museum Of American Art, New York University, The Guggenheim Museum, The Hirshhorn Museum,The Albright-Knox Art Gallery & The Allen Memorial Art Museum. Since 2006 His paintings, drawings, photographs and collages have been published in over 230 on line and print magazines. He has received three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, two Creative Artists Public Service Grant (CAPS), two Pollock-Krasner grants, two Adolph Gottlieb Foundation grants and, in 2010, he received a grant from Artists’ Fellowship Inc. in 2017 & 2018 he received the Brooklyn Arts Council SU-CASA artist-in-residence grant.