Mike Figliola is a writer, television/radio reporter, and producer who has called New York City—specifically Queens—his home for more than thirty years. He has written hundreds of poems and has read them on a regular basis at such venues as the famed Cornelia Street Café in NYC with actor John Ventimiglia and poet Frank Messina and has been a featured poet in the Brooklyn Poet Laureate’s “Brooklyn Poetry Outreach” in Park Slope Brooklyn. He has served as a producer, writer, and reporter in radio and TV on both local and national platforms.
Set over the course of one Sunday, The Slow Midnight on Cypress Avenue is a collection of interconnected vignettes that takes the reader through the streets and across sidewalks of Cypress Avenue—an unkempt afterthought, just a place that sits at the neighborhood border edge of Ridgewood, Queens. The three-part book—broken into Morning, Afternoon, and Night—introduces you to the irregular regulars of the human race. There is the soft and strange relationship between the eccentric Samuel Jean and a young girl of Puerto Rican descent named Desponda “Dezzy” Rivera. There’s “Old” Goldie Samuels, a washed-up relic who spends her days spinning yarns and getting free drinks at the local liquor store. But the story is truly centered on Corporal Benjamin Zogby, a veteran who spends his days alone on his stoop watching the bus go by and wishing his love would return to him. It’s his tragic fate that sends the avenue and the other inhabitants you’ll meet—Earl the fisherman, Father John White, among others—into an unstoppable tailspin toward unexpected change and inner destruction.
“I spent five seasons in Queens, NY, prowling center field of Shea Stadium. Mike Figliola captures the heartbeat of NYC better than any book I know.”—Lenny Dykstra, New York Times bestselling author of House of Nails