Friday, October 05, 2007

A Porch, Summer Night

Workshopped last night. Let me know what you think.

A Porch, Summer Night

I've seen all seasons
Press the wood of this deck‒

    First the fall,
    With fading dead leaves
    Swirling through the rails‒
    The winter with its white piles
    Coming, melting, coming again‒
    Then spring with the terrible violence
    Of life giving-taking storms
    Second-hand through above‒
    The summer with hotness and air
    And oppressive water wall.

I've known the place
Through one full cycle‒
    I'm transplanted here,
    The age sloughed off
    And left layered, dead skin
    On the once-living boards,
    An imprint, thumb-print, shadow of self.

An obscured view of city night,
Orange glow haze,
And the day-time-all-time-no-break brightness
Of parking structure,
People working on my shift.
Sleepless night.
Big building windows lit,
Arrow pointing towards
The last lingering lost,
Fellow travelers on concrete
Long past bar crowd‒
    Those fake patrons of moon,
    Regularly scheduled broadcasts of interaction,
    Auto-pilot motion, Polo shirts and beer
    And girls in skirts
    Displaying all of their virtue at skin level
    For weighing and consideration over barstools,
    A drunk squeeze test for ripeness.

They don't know the sky
Stays creamy like orange milk
As perfume fades from the sidewalks,
Or the true night people
Who squeeze sentences from empty footsteps,
Suck down the late night cigarettes
Held in fingers alone,
Listen to the unmanned hum of nocturnal machinery‒
    The crickets, the power plants, the neon lights.

A city too bright for stars,
Constellations born from still-lit windows
In towering apartments,
Trace the shape
Of the lone hunter‒
    Two lights and a line,
    A belt and a bow,
    The wind a star-lit quarry,
    Kissing each summer leaf in its evasion.


Nadia said...

I love the second to last stanza, there's something so real and tangible and just....I thought it was splendid.

Awesome write.

Josh said...

As I said before at WC, I really like the poem. I'd have to read it a dozen times before I'd find something to improve on (if I found anything), so I say keep it like it is.

There's something about the raw truth to it that begs for it to keep it like it is. I vote you in for the Lit Mag. :)

Jenny said...

"drunk squeeze test for ripeness" is great

"life giving-taking storms" could be stronger