Thursday, June 24, 2004

The Gloaming (West Side Postcard)

it's 7 o'clock in the evening
I'm sitting by the window
on the IRT 1 train
the sun is descending
nights approaching like a thief
I don't like comparing dusk to a thief
thieves are much darker than night

I didn't know I loved steel so much
and how steel lays on top of each other
to cover their masters and dogs

can people love things
that aren’t animate
guitars, radios, bikes
I've always loved high rises
I would never come down
but I would find it weird
marching ants that have mansions
and drive jaguars

here I've loved eyes all the time
whether staring or closed like
abandon buildings smiling with
an orange sunset on it’s lips

this wave of light curling over the hills
that Manhattan has on the west side
crowned with mausoleums and St. John the Divine

stretched out as flat as possible
the west side walls are fifty feet high
and the hobos walk the tracks from
the Freedom Tunnels that soon
will become another high rise

I know you can't hide poverty underneath
the trees of central park I know the streets swallow
the lights that you'll never see
I didn't know I loved the sky cloudy or clear
as it opens up over New Jersey and stretches to California

the blue voices are not
from blue people but from the breeze
that are running passed someone

I’ve always knew I loved trees
as it hovers over and whispers in my ear
there are no tears when they shed their leaves
because they will be beautiful again

I never knew I loved roads
I don’t drive and probably will never
have the drive to drive
in the asphalt, granite and tar
I count the cracks in it’s face

the world flows past on both sides distant and mute
I was never so close to anyone in my life
except on the rush hours
from Wall St to Times Square
the battery operated entrepreneurs stop me
on the station between here and there

when I was eighteen
my life consisted of everything I could fit in my bag
from Che to Neruda to Camus to Campos
my back could take as much as I could give it
but at eighteen my life was valued less
than now

I've written this somewhere before
wandering through wanderlust streets
playing hide n seek with police officers
on beat during graveyard shifts
a paper giant leading the way

I remember the stars
on top of my roof, I love them too
watching them from the fire escape

cosmonauts are stars much bigger
than comets but they look like huge diamonds on black velvet

my heart was in my mouth looking at them
my endless desire to grasp them, seeing them
I could even think of death and not feel at all sad
because if death is becoming a star, then so be it
I never knew I loved the cosmos
as much as I do

I knew I loved the sun
especially when setting cherry-red as now
in Manhattan it sometimes sets in postcard colors
photo taken from a boat on the Hudson
but I could never paint it that way
how can you paint the gloaming

the tunnels roar
like a coarse hands
or shattered glass
or palpitating hearts
or tangled countries

I don't know why I love this city
but all these passions sprawling forth
sitting by the window on the IRT 1 train
is it because I chewed on my 9th toothpick
or because I’m alone
or is it because I'm half dead from thinking about
someone whose either uptown or downtown

the train is going underneath
and now the tunnels
and their small lights
is infinity laughing at me

the train plunges on through the pitch-black night
sparks fly and I watch
the world disappear as if on
a journey of no return



Blogger **** said...

I dont know why you signed the book, but it ment alot

A Kid From oak park

11:13 PM  

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