Saturday, October 06, 2007

Walking Winter City Streets

Here's a long-ish one. Please tear into it, no fear. The rest is on the post page.


Walking Winter City Streets


Wandering the city soulless,
The titans drifted to home towns
And snow gently perching on
The paths, reclaiming the
Heated shuffle of the day
To layer white upon concrete uncontested.
Late night journey into the subtle
Emptiness.

I trudged a trail well knowing
Snow conquest would have
Her buried in moments of night.
I stole looks at pairings left
In quiet city, sitting on
Couches in their homes.
Their paths not yet buried,
Tiny prints and large,
First walking side by side
Then sliding, enjoying
The frictionless sidewalks
While thinking of friction in
Warm-sheeted beds.

I wished then that beside
Me on the winter nocturnal
That some starry-eyed reciprocator
Cast with delicate features
In night-light moon-binding
Would match my stride and,
In a moment of nostalgic
Love of childhood fun just
Slide.
I thought of mom and dad
Parked away in their bed,
Having found meaning in
Their arms on cold winter
Nights.
How their eyes must have
Burned at the thought of
Beating the cold back.
But that was when passion
Was their modus operandi–
I’m sure now they sleep
Back-to-back.

But such gems of lovers
Vanished at the thought that
I was not lonely in my
Solitary wanderings.
The snowfall beauty was my
Mistress– Seeing her dancing
To settle was enough.
Her shadow cast as falling,
Black dim flakes rising from
The ground.

I imagined wandering in the woods
Of my home.
No longer afraid of the vicious
Fangs of darkness, having
Become so much a part of
The silent proceedings.
Etched upon my face the
Marks of many journeys through
Those different streets.
I could walk with the coyotes
Of my home, not waking
Them from slow talk ponderings
Under the awnings of the brick
Churches.
I carried that hopeless musk
Of unfitting yearning.
I was no longer an intruder
In their darkness, rituals of
Survival– an outsider, but
Knowing slightly, enough.

The target of the trip,
Laced with neon signs
Singing of “Lotto, Slush, Phone Cards” –
A quick stop masked by
The gravity of walking, a
Moment forgotten staring into
The mirror of concrete snowfall contemplation–
A root to reality.

My path burned with fragmented
Verse, pace quickened at the thought
Of scribbling down so madly, to
Capture the mind’s ejaculation.
To describe the beauty of those
Slide marks and the imagined
Lovely words and smiles on
The lips of that sweet, small-footed
Girl.
The snow had not masked her from me.
I cherished her–
Chained her in my thoughts,
Bent on distilling her minute in the snow
Into words, to bestow upon her love
She’ll never know.

Only the empty doors, opened into the
Metal shining elevator, know,
And maybe the bums hidden under
That brick church awning–
They are the silent watchers
Of the unreal night world,
Marking the paths and siphoning
Thoughts of the displaced day-time
Travelers.
Let them know of my love,
And note that I was not
Cold in that frozen world,
White under fresh fall.


3 comments:

Jenny said...

The wintry tone is great, although I'd like to see you stick with it more and stray less into the forest with fangs and coyotes and such. Also, you could unify your language more-- starry-eyed "reciprocator" for example. Starry-eyed is good, but reciprocator is a little clunky.

Rachel B said...

I love the first three stanzas. I agree with Jenny, and I think it's that tone in the beginning that should blanket the whole poem. I like the warm/cold distinctions too: "heated shuffle", "snow", "warm-sheeted beds", "cold winter", "eyes must have burned".

Jillian said...

"upon concrete uncontested"

love that the sound interaction of the u's and c's. Could you break up that line so those 3 words are isolated from the rest of the poem a bit more? Because those 3 words are fantastic.