Eulogy for a City Not Yet Dead

 

There is an Art whose pulse can still be felt
Along Main Street headed East,
And I get it…
how you could view the chaos of this intersection as something                                              to be despised.
Old candy wrappers mix with leaves along the curb-sides,
The broken shards of Heinekens glaring green light from the gutters,
The daily choreography of crossing streets avoiding eye contact,
Terrified of small talk in the elevator down.
And I make no excuses for the silent tacky war of bumper sticker politics,
of SUV’s and outspoken sedans missing hubcaps like front teeth,
exchanging their “cease fire” stares just as the lanes begin to merge.
But every day this city is the canvas and we                                                                                Are all just colors mixing onto it                                                                                              Never really knowing how the whole thing looks..                                                                    The stories of acrylic                                                                                                                              As complicated as colors get.

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Technicolor moment

The sky’s an ocean in a way.

I trace the shore of storm clouds with my finger,

watch them all slide past each other like great continents.

When I was young I thought they were alive

I’d chase them back  behind the rooftops

wanting to go with them…waves above my head

painfully close

but never could jump high enough

to feel what they were made of.

At 7:30 I keep time with the wiper blades

can’t tell how many miles I’ve gone without the radio

lost in this self-narrated film called “Monday”

-a lover’s word for one more day we throw away.

I drift into the noise of traffic

watching steam rise from my Exxon coffee

practicing the day’s philosophy

jealous of the starlings perched along the wires

as if they always had a court-side view

wondering where we migrate to…

in busy flocks of steel and glass that never seems to end.

Perhaps I am a flightless bird,

longing after sunsets glaring through my windshield

like each one…a different lover

I write letters to.

But even when the days drag on like run-on sentences

The sun still sets on Canal Street

and all the light extinguishes itself there

like the end of a parade..trombones sitting in their cases on the sidewalk

clouds drawing in like blankets laying one more day to rest

I watch the colors fade over the dock as if

The Sun were backstage taking off her make up

I drink the moment in as if it were a glass of scotch we shared

after the show.

fish bowl blues

the un-invested hours are the architects of slow regret
when the drywall closes in
in a room too tight for echoes
sandy barefoot daydreams flirt with happy-hour thoughts
and you have zoned out to the point of no return
but those empty minutes always bring you back somehow
because your skin will always know the difference between
the mellow breath of Summer
(like warm linen brushing past your face)
and central air
because the carpet in your office never feels quite like
the grass at Bryant park
the mind floats on a sea of all the day-off memories that could’ve been, like being lovesick for a nameless face the tattoo on your bicep just says “someone” pacing mindless down the halls as if
the scenery will change each time
like the goldfish meeting it’s reflection in the glass… always for the first time

 

where clovers smile

Beneath a sun that reeks of shadows
where the stairwells come alive, illuminated in a half light
like a moon with both its faces showing
and each cloud that passes steals the light like tides
that carve the sand each time the sea draws in a breath
the ghost of perfume roams the streets still searching for her flowers
as the musk of wooden barrels savor their whiskey’s last tears
clovers smile beneath the oak shade pressed into the shapes of footprints
I think it’s funny how the sunlight hides them
as if only the shadows cared

she gets me every time

I watch
bare branches stretch for pastel clouds as if these sycamores were brushes
painting shapes onto a paper sky
the water colors bleed together on blue canvas
green blades of grass reach out for
like children’s arms wanting to be picked up by God
my shoes come off all on their own
drunk from this new season’s charms
How long have you been standing there?
watching me with my eyes closed
swaying in the breeze like cloth
Spring holds between her fingertips?
come stand by me
Have you ever watched this city slip into her evening gown?
she gets me every time

dead languages

but sometimes I can’t help but think…
these painted days have tried to speak to me
in colors as if the last pure language remained lost in translation
a song only the seasons know but retold in the wandering dialects
of naked branches creaking for their leaves to return
It’s hidden in that burning flame
of dying sunsets that paint the old worn streets with parting tears of gold
the smoke blue light of morning in that stillness
when the cinders of the dream
have barely cooled to ash
that rises only to ignite again when our eyes close,
lit by a new days sunset
asking riddles in it’s ancient tongue
still waiting for my answer

The Strands of Summer

Another June
brings the rust red glow of evening.
A wind laced with magnolia lullabies chops through half cracked windows.
We ride the windy roads like half-pipe waves somewhere along route 50
And you can taste the dampness of the storms to come like promises of
rain that shake the Evening from it’s sleep.
Everywhere you look the mist of heat surrenders to cool, evening air,
that rises towards the sunset like a weary ghost returning home.
Perhaps the colors in the distance are another kind of rain.
They saturate the landscape til the hillside sings in blue and violet,
dying coals lit by another dying sun.
I drive little faster to watch your hair bounce in the wind.
This day is just another strand that weaves the dream of Summer.
You close your eyes
and try to feel the fabric on your skin.

Reunion

the sunset frames you in the doorway with winter gray pastels
and every tint and hue folds into shadow sculpting you in cameo.
when you arrive
eyes squint deciphering the difference between textures in your smile and photographs my mind has kept of you in albums titled “some day”
when you arrive
you step into the room as if the light were something you brought with you
in exchange for speechlessness
when you arrive
the force of our restraint could pulverize the earth to dust
but we become roots intertwined…in the doorway…we can hear the snowfall…floating just above the ground…lost and found within ourselves
laughter ignites the dust

Traces

Nights like these you crave the taste of it,
one soulful memory…December
a snow flake landing perfectly
melts speechless on your tongue
that has the taste of everything still frozen in time
under the streetlights that could almost sing
in the echoe of the darkness where
soft footprints lose themselves to shadows
that song that touched our radio on nights we drove the long way home
the moon was like a search light calling out to us
like children running from a dream.
Half cracked windows chop the air
laughter fills the empty streets glittered in neon gold that makes each puddle shimmer not unlike distant satellites
laughter fills the empty streets
while Seger’s singing “Aint it funny how the night moves?”
lying on the summer grass tracing oceans on the moon
I miss the taste of snowflakes
homesick for the dream.

Summer of Olympus

Somewhere rocking chairs sway and creak to flawless tempo in the afternoon’s best sunlight as though waltzing to sonata.
Wet drops of condensation slide down ice filled ornate glasses wearing bendy straws like flags of victory.
A couple sits leaned back in their best reflective poses on their porch like mount Olympus
sipping sweet tea like a Godly nectar.
Underneath magnolia shade the old folks let nostalgia dance with every fond remembrance
as seeds from watermelon slices ricochet off picnic tables.
Children dangle upside down from pine branches as soft beds of scented needles make false promises of safety, swinging and bouncing in the breeze like wind chimes.
Our legs hang off the sun bleached log that hangs over the water where our toes flirt with the surface.
many times we have to catch ourselves from falling in…bobbing the log each time we laugh together which only makes us laugh harder.