Forever Turn the Midnight Carousel

by Matthew Abuelo

Return to blog list


Posted by maab30
“Forever Turn the Midnight Carousel” is a requiem for all the people and places that writer Matthew Abuelo has seen slip away over the past few years. In the first half of this latest collection of short stories and poems, Mr. Abuelo, focuses on the loss of New York as a living city; a working-class town and a refuge for misfits. Looking back on his old neighbourhood, he remembers the few former neighbours still left at one of the last residential SRO buildings left on the upper west side and a Beggar’s Opera cast of characters.

For Mr Abuelo, a housing activist of many years, the causes are clear; rent laws held hostage by upstate Republicans and the city itself transformed into a tourist Mecca by Republican Mayors Rudolf Guiliani and Michael Bloomberg while residents and small business owners struggle with massive rent hikes demanded by predatory landlords. A once great city, now full of shuttered, empty storefronts and a homeless population numbering over 70,000 souls while iconic, original institutions like the Bowery music venue CBGB and Big Nick’s Burger Joint on Broadway are gone forever.

In the second half of Midnight Carousel, Mr. Abuelo focuses on the deaths of loved ones; the sudden loss of his mother to cancer and the suicide of a friend. Both losses forced Mr. Abuelo to put all other work on hold while he struggled to come to terms with these devastating developments. When he started writing again, the manuscript took a different turn, becoming a memorial of sorts; a contemplation on mental illness and desperate acts driven by depression.

Matthew Abuelo has read many of the poems in this book in venues around Manhattan over the past few years, where they have received much admiration. Many of these poems have also appeared in various publications including, “Outlaw Poetry”. Those who have heard or read his works have admired his style and the content itself. The following are some reviews of this latest work:

“Matthew Abuelo’s Forever Turn the Midnight Carousel is a head-spinning depiction of harshest reality in New York City. Reading his sequence of poetry and stories is like “visiting the world of the forgotten.” In subway tunnels, psychiatric wards, and single occupancy rooms are individuals depicted in such brutal honesty by Abuelo that the reader cannot turn away or forget. Those of us fortunate enough to live “ordinary lives with ordinary fears” won’t easily file away this writer’s images–a “shut-in” dreading an eviction notice, a depressed tenant conceding “the instinct to survive but with no will to live,” a suicidal pedestrian for whom no cab stops. Forever Turn the Midnight Carousel is poetic recognition of lives cordoned off from meaning by urban excess and corruption. Through his searing poems and unflinching narratives, Mathew Abuelo speaks for those who know “the voice can become a severed limb.” His stark reminder of desperation just up the block or down the hallway is a jolting call for compassion.”

—Judith Austin Mills, author of Accidental Joy: a streak of poetry, and the Texas Revolution trilogy How Far Tomorrow, Those Bones at Goliad and The Dove Shall Fly

“I have the privileged of reading yet another amazing work by Matthew Abuelo! Midnight Carousel will take you on a colorful, yet deep, deep as a midnight sky, ride. The ever turning spiral of emotions are filled in every line, stanza and verse as you are brought high and then downward again. The love of a city that is wrapped up in the arms of an old lover, that is slowly deteriorating around some while flourishing around newfound mistresses of whose sole purpose is to dine on the fatted-calf. Matthew paints a glorious picture with words as he shows the side of the “city that never sleeps” that very few and only those true professionals who keep the midnight oil burning long after midnight ever see. I highly recommend reading Midnight Carousel and following this profound writer. I look forward to interviewing him again very soon.”

—Mary E. Rapier, aka Art Sees Diner

Matthew Abuelo is a writer, professional blogger and award-winning poet. He has four books out, Last American Roar and Organic Hotels, His third book "The News Factory" and “Forever Turn the Midnight Carousel” have just been released by Plain view Press, the first two can be found at He is a former journalist for the online news site Examiner and he most recently worked for the Times Square Chronicles as a housing rights journalist and political commentator. Matthew Abuelo has performed around Manhattan including at the forum The Poetry Project's marathon, which also featured, Pattie Smith, Suzanne Vega, Lenny K, Steve Earle and many other icons. You can check out his other books and works at his website,

Reply to this blog:

Login or create an account to participate in a discusion.