A few weeks ago, West Village penthouse
I love the mild-mannered night
Who treats me cordially, without slight.
She stoops down, so we walk together,
Like blue-brown birds of a feather.
She brushes my arm and smiles a smile
That gleams like a moon-lit mile
Of sharpened beer-bottle glass.
For in her still, Winter lingers
And its Stygian fingers
Still seek to clasp.
But Spring laughs–
Like fairy claps
A mild sound,
Full of round nouns
And dew-drop crowns
Woven of polymer-fiber dusk,
Slowly turning the sky to rust.
I remember living sometimes, when it’s spring and the ground is stirring. I remember people—their footsteps hard against the packed earth. I remember mornings of flower blossoms and seeing girls out in their summer clothes, just slightly too soon. This is life: a fleeting progression from youth to age, just slightly too soon. It’s all we have. And yet, and yet…
It’s not that I wish for more. I abhor the slow track. Spring is the dying time in my mind. It is the heartbreaking loneliness. It is the bitterness of retreat. But that’s not true: what I’m picturing is protracted winter, instead. Like the winters when my parents left me. The ones that meandered into April and then May. Continue reading
No one ever said this was a photography blog, okay?
My heart is an apple,
Still dusty from the field.
It is the clanging of the school bell,
To which we all must yield.
My laugh is the dry crackle
Of a ghoul dancing in the yard
Whipped high by chill winds
And trodden into crisp-crinkled shards.
Oh the faces you’ve carved me!
Mad smirks with yellowed teeth
An army of angry villains
Set on every doorstep to seethe.
I escape them, flying
Through each gusty ghoul-puff,
And still so desperately trying
To head South with the northern geese.
The wind is treacherous, a betrayer.
It impales me on the sugar maple.
The dull summer leaves,
Giving them festive costumes
For All Hallow’s Eve.
—October 25, 2011
The view from a home I used to know.
I almost can’t wait for another swollen summer. I can’t wait for the blistering, sweltering heat. How it forces its way under your skin and holds you hostage inside strip malls and other suburban purgatories, lured in by the lewdest of the lewd: that seductive wet whirrrr of air conditioning. I couldn’t keep one in my bedroom, what with the fire escape. So at night I’d crawl out onto the hot metal grating to meditate on the blank New Jersey sky, able to pretend that the barest breath of a breeze was refreshing.
I’d curse the night: roiling but empty with a haze of too many lights from airport landing strips and sterile office buildings, formica kitchen counters and caustic railroad stations. And burned into my memory is that night, years ago now, when we hooligans poured onto the streets and I was that girl with the dragon shirt: dancing red green and gold over the swamp-lit streets. And it seemed to me that the earth was as blank as that cloudless sky, even with the streets so filled with the half-feral youth of a mile-wide town.
That’s far away now. My mind overwritten with other summers, other longings. And yet, and yet. There are constants in the meadowlands. I miss how each day the lush trees would grow more and more jaded to the sweating masses underfoot and the morse code of fireflies as they call to each other in the night. I miss the honeysuckle outside my window: climbing up the bricks of a childhood that I no longer own.
Title stolen, with apologies, from The Bravery who were a big deal for about five minutes when I was fifteen.