Sofatop Rag

the bits life forgot
rattle under jump size toes –
today our ship along rolling
waves,
   cross
swords
in violent battle
cries,
we vie for claim
to the seas.

arms stretch to
catch a
(one-two-three)
We can
                   fly,
you know, we’ll prove it.
an airplane birdhouse             leap –
head bang
to the back,
(take a tear-scream break
to the floor).

a big shot hollywood
stunt man
show –
set the stage, camera
tick-tick rolling like
Indiana Jones (crack the whip)
crowd stands  in encore
  demand –
bow deep

dark –
bob our heads to the folkline beat
bounce the quarters from the cushion
corners hiding,
Mom and Dad hand-to-hand with
Bob on the
speakers
tomorrow’s the day my bride’s a-gonna come
we look to one another,
tuned to the
i-don’t-know-what
between them.

dust settles on the
corduroy green
faces slouched;
freckles swing against
quick droop
eyes.
Artful Dodger on the screen –
but soon
  (intermission)
upstairs
off to bed.

I exclaim the creatures
of my closet,
but they don’t dare
creep downstairs
where I curl up into the quiet
smell of my mother’s tea
(lemon on the coaster).
lets me watch
the grown-up-only half
till my lids
fall heavy
into soft cloth sleep.

***

The above was written for my experimental poetics class. The class has been bringing me face-to-face with a style unfamiliar to me, postmodernism, which I am loving. This needs a bit of work yet, but I wanted to share my play with the style. I especially love how great this kind of writing is with memory, because the disjunctive imagery fits perfectly with how images from my childhood play into my brain. The assignment for this one was to write an “object” poem, about something that brings up sentimental memories.

<Midnight and the Balance

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A Closer Look at Petty Theft

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Hello Like Before

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Midnight and the Balance

midnight and the balance

I’m spending time with the night again.

The solitary sleep that had

finally failed to elude me

has shattered –

I cannot sleep without you.

And so the daylight ignites

the morning of my mind,

folding back the

corners until the Doubt

has held me

captive.

He tells me to fight, tells

me not to

want

or need

for surely I don’t spark enough heat

to fuel that kind of

raw desire.

So I fight.

The deep bell ringing through my

ears,

the echoes that call me back to fiction,

they come from you.

The need builds,

until I cannot tolerate the

shadows any longer, and

I can’t be satisfied with a peripheral vision

of you.

There must be a balance.

I look for it late into the night,

after the rest of the

world have dreamed themselves

into a new morning,

sand sprinkled over their eyes.

For me,

the night continues.

I’m sure that’s where

the balance is hiding,

the secret that

may rescue the seams of my

skin,

which feels rather tight lately.

I fight the pressure every time.

I disregard notions of romance and chance

encounters,

of nights held in

silent rest.

But maybe the pressure

would not drown me,

but float my soul

to a buoyant peace?

 

 

<The Chimes

The Writing Desk

You Say It’s Your Birthday

Image

“Slow down, you move too fast, you’ve got to make the morning last. Just kicking down the cobble stones, looking for fun and feeling groovy.”

-Simon and Garfunkel – “The 59th Street Bridge Song”

So, contrary to my desire to be a little bit more of a kid, I have been promoted at the real estate office to a job that is essentially a listings manager, which I will be starting as soon as they hire a new girl for my position. However, it will likely mean more flexible hours, which will be conducive to accomplishing the goals that I’ve been keeping afloat in my mind.

In other news, I had my twentieth birthday on Friday. It seems to me to be something of a faux birthday; nothing whatsoever has changed my status in the eyes of general society (i.e., I’ve been deemed unworthy to enter a bar, due to the ridiculous age constraint our country has settled on. I know it seems like something I should just accept, but in this city bars and shows are pretty much the hub of social activity). However, contrary to most birthdays I’ve had, I felt a little different at this turn around the sun. Maybe it’s because I no longer have ‘teen’ attached to my identity, but I think the real reason I feel this way has more to do with the experiences, good and bad, that I’ve pushed through in the past year. I’ve moved four times; I’ve been kicked out and lost jobs and found new homes and new occupations; I’ve met many new people who have deeply influenced my life; and I have managed to push through this new life against the odds that many of the people surrounding me said I’d never beat. This is something I’m proud of; disregarding the accomplishments I have had and have yet to have, I have survived (and even thrived at times) largely on my own. I am supporting myself financially, I’m a great deal stronger than I was last summer post-Syracuse, and I’m proud of this.

Moving on, I celebrated my birthday in Stamford with the new guy that I’m seeing. He met my mother the following day; she came to Stamford to get lunch and have a little birthday celebration. I experienced some new, live music at the Central Park Summerstage. I ended up being more ambivalent than impressed by the bands that played, but some of the musicians were very talented, and I’ve always thoroughly loved being able to hear music outside, especially on a beautiful summer night like this one. Matt and I wandered around afterwards and experienced the incredible beauty that exists within the park’s borders. It was almost as if we repeatedly discovered tiny pockets of magic; I’d never seen the Bethesda Fountain, but we stumbled upon it in the moonlight, the water lilies glowing and a gondola moving slowly on the far side of the lake. We found a tiny gazebo by the water, and came across the enormous statue of Hans Christian Andersen, the author of The Ugly Duckling. It’s truly an oasis, especially if you wander, and I came to the decision that this must be the reason behind Central Park’s creation; this city is a hardass, and it makes sense to erect this wild escape into quiet and beauty at its center.

The Chimes

he rings through my

ears like he never intended,

for neither of us ever sought

the chimes till the wind blew.

he holds me close, though

there’s no need –

I’ll stay here regardless and

turn the key with my

own right hand –

I’ll slip the collar round my

neck.

He’s far away, now, but

his ghost lingers

to tango with my shadow,

to brush my face with

phantom fingertips.

He winks through the

march of monotony that

treads over my endless

hours, and renders each

trifling catastrophe hollow and

laughable, for

I know I’ll soon find

his gaze again.

 

          <Enough                                                                                                                                   Midnight and the Balance>

More Poetry in The Writing Desk

Coming to Town with the Briefcase Blues

Image

“I want a lot out of life, but I know my limitations, I guess I want a lot of things and I’ve got my inclinations. I got my feet on the ground, and I’m standing on my own.”

-The Kinks – “I Got My Feet on the Ground”

Hello, at long last, to those who choose to read this humble tale of mine. It’s been a while since I’ve logged in here; it appears that I haven’t written a post since March, which is depressing. It’s also an incentive to call my mother more often, so she knows I’m alive and well. To be honest, I’ve been living the life of the working stiff, and don’t have a lot to report, which is a depressing eye-opener that I need to open my life up a bit.

The last couple of months have been cumulatively positive. I have a job as a receptionist at a real estate company in Washington Square. It’s not the most exciting way to spend my days, but it pays the rent, and it’s never boring in the office. To call real estate a competitive business would be the understatement of the year, and as I’m in charge of managing tenants’ arrivals and departures, drafting leases, overseeing key procedure, and (to be honest) babysitting an office of full grown adults, I have enough to keep me busy, and to leave me yawning by the end of the day.The agents have come to consider me to be the best receptionist they’ve had since they began working there, and I’ve done a lot here to reinvent the company’s various procedures. There’s a lot to keep track of, and the drama never ends. There are angry tenants, happy tenants, looney-tune tenants (one was briefly emailing members of our staff with death threats because we informed him he could not smoke inside our buildings, which seemed to ruin his stay with us). The agents range from your average Joe to socially inept adults who might fare well in a kindergarten class, so I see everything from friendly interactions to subtle power plays to all out verbal brawls (sometimes they’re in Hebrew, but the wide-eyed and angry facial expressions are always the same).

I work six days a week, every week, and it’s exhausting. It also makes it too easy to slip into a boring, stagnancy-bound routine, and I’m definitely guilty of allowing that to take over the last couple of months (the boys and I have made a home for ourselves in Bushwick, complete with a couch, television, and their favorite, a Wii-U video game console). I’ve also been seeing someone who lives in Stamford, CT, and have been spending quite a bit of time there. I believe that a little bit of routine is a necessary foundation on top of which I can build my life. However, I need to stretch myself a bit, because the time to re-apply for school and get back into the education game is upon me. I need to return my focus to passions that I hold close to my heart, lest they begin to wilt. It’s also the summer, a beautiful time when the city is full of life and music in the streets. It’s time to get back into the life I envisioned for myself here, outside of the responsibilities I hold myself to, now that I finally feel like I have both feet firmly on the ground (i.e., I pay my rent on time, and I’m never wondering whether or not I can afford to eat lunch on a given day).

I’ve done a lot of growing up in the past few months. Now it’s time to remember that, as it happens, I’m still a kid; I’m nearly twenty years old, with dreams and aspirations that I’m still allowed to flash around. It’s time that I act like it, and so here are my goals for the summer:

1. Commit myself to returning to school

2. Act a little more like my age (surely the office 9-5 isn’t a fate I must accept just yet!)

3. Live

Land Ho!

“You feel the fire burning sweet within your skin. You’re holding on to all the branches crashing in, it’s pulling you in, but you feel the light shine so bright.” -Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – “Shadow’s Keeper”   So, let’s … Continue reading

Motorpsycho Nightmare

BobDylan01PA190511

“New York City is a friendly old town, from Washington Heights to Harlem on down. There’s a-mighty many people all a-millin’ all around, they’ll kick you when you’re up, and knock you when you’re down. It’s hard times in the city, livin’ down in New York town.”

-Bob Dylan – “Hard Times in New York Town”

 

New York, you’ve been trouble since I met you, and I still can’t seem to resist your charms.

My time here in this city has been the most challenging part of my life, full of panic and worry. Every time I pick myself up and feel like I might be walking well enough to ease into a jog, I fall right back on my ass. I’ve been bursting with excitement and relief to the point of absolute bliss at times, all at the idea of finally signing a lease and having a steady place that I can call home in this city.

As my luck seems to have it, I lost my newest job (another basic aspect of a routine that I can’t seem to nail down) because it turns out that the café wasn’t doing as well as I was led to believe. They had to make budget cuts, and as the last one hired, my hours were cut to nearly nothing, which in my mind is essentially being laid off. I won’t lie: I resent this, mainly because my boss nearly begged me to take the job. However, as there seemed to be no progress in resentment, I’ve moved past my panicked, begrudging state and thrown myself headfirst into the job pool.

I’ve got a few different things going on. I’ve already received several callbacks, for different kinds of jobs. Some are office jobs, some have to do with marketing, and some are for cafes, although the food-and-beverage industry is one I’d like to escape.  I’ve come to crave something really dependable that I can work into a routine, because as I keep saying, I need to find a way to do the things I came to New York to do. It feels impossible to fit a life around a routine if the routine keeps collapsing. Let’s not even go into the constant stress that goes into moving (I’m going on my fourth move since August, unless you count the entire Uhaul Fiasco as more than one move). Then, of course, there’s money. Everything costs money.

But I’m surviving. I keep telling myself that “this time” will be the go that gets it right, and I hope that my little mantra holds true in this next endeavor. I’m ready for a home that’s more than a house, I’m ready for a job that I can depend on and even (gasp!) become excited about, and I’m ready to really turn this bumpy road into an adventure.

Even with the struggle (and I’ve said this before), New York still works her magic on me. I hate this city sometimes. It gets lonely and cold in my concrete box, and sometimes I wonder if I made a mistake, if I’m yet strong enough to chew this enormous bite I’ve taken out of the world. But all in all, it still feels worth it, and I have a feeling that better times (and goddamnit, spring!) are around the corner. And, dear reader, it’s not as if all of this trial and tribulation hasn’t come with a few high points. I’ll tell those stories very soon, along with a formal introduction to my tale’s newest characters.