Poem No. 1


Here's something I've been tinkering with since the first time I saw a cruise ship sailing down the Hudson River through my living-room window. The scale alone is disconcerting—the Hudson being not at all like the open ocean, and the zillion buildings of downtown Manhattan framing the boat in sections as it passes. So you end up with the distinct impression that's the real, wide world sailing by while you're left playing in the Erector Set otherwise known as Manhattan.
Or maybe that's just me. But since I did spend lots of time in undergrad studying poetry instead of myriad more practical subjects, it's a pleasure to put that into practice every once in a while. This one's still a work in progress, like everything, but hope it's worth a smile.



it creeps, it crawls, it slithers
what is it Eliot says? it slouches
no—no, not really
a white city of ship coming up the Hudson
like its long ago, gone below

but those never sailed past my winter views window
and the natives at play could hardly have seen
from their groundlevel galleys
this outsize nightmare made of pop culture predators—
King Kong, megalodon, a tyrannosaur
(that scavenged tall, not hunched the way its physics says)—
stalking through the trees,
raking through the muck,
boring through the buildings that would challenge
its primacy

no, they could not have known
a man named Henry would become
a fleet called Royal
to this day obliterate a state of simple mind
(or New Jersey)

but I do

and had there been an inkling,
not storied beads, nor storybooks,
not even long, long memories
would have been enough
to give up
that dirty, sweet, and overgrown past
for this electrum future.


Today's photo—with the fantastic title, "move over, lady"—is by Kai Schreiber.