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
Outside Cole’s at NYU
It seems as if all the flowers of the world have blossomed at once, or did you just now notice the forsythia outside your window? Yellow and bell-like, inherently graceful with their long necks stemming from that brown branch. But look again, and lean your head back to see pear trees with their heads adorned all in white with an almost invisible green veil, standing bridal at the street corner. Or turn and stoop with the magnolias while you can: those fat purple-pink-white petals always rain down onto the earth far too soon. They fade, they all fade. When better to see the sweet sakura than in bloom? You will turn back again to remember this time when you were just so happy and grateful to be alive, still standing on a planet made of packed earth, because of the wild twist of trees against a perforated sky…
A cool breeze flits about my bare legs, enough to hurry me along. But the cotton swish of skirt against my skin makes a passing thought to the smell that finds me in the dark: the calling card of a short pear tree made more ornate than a candelabrum, than a cake on Christmas. I am so in love with spring: so drunk on the feeling of it. So many things come alive around me, no longer locked in their cold shells. Foolish, I mourn their passing when they’ve barely arrived. Every petal will soon fall: like the water drops that slip through my fingers to melt into the earth. I am greedy: I cup my hands and catch them, unable to just enjoy the falling rain.
Why is the city so beautiful on spring nights? Stunted trees twist in their planters to dapple patterns on skin bared beneath neon lights. A crowd of hedonistic youths undulates past, howling up to that punctured skyline of mis-matched fate. Take me with you, I cry to them, wherever you are going. There is too little for me in the hermitage of my own life. I want to feel a beat tattooed across my skin, like the pulsing of the packed earth itself breaking into song. There are wilds beneath the pavement, but maybe just the loam and the stones and the corroded wood husks remember. There is nothing to do but walk over them, weaving down Broadway between the backs of those packs from out of state. They let me experience the lights by proxy: Times Square is an eyesore of a show with money in screaming colors plastered across every surface. So we’ll slowly pick our way south, to the more organic glow of bar lights spilling out onto these dusty streets we call home.
Because finals and final projects are coming up and also because I, understandably I feel, didn’t feel like writing any odes to the weather this spring, the above are three poems I wrote last year.