Archive for February, 2007

Millburn Park

February 26, 2007

bosch_5.jpg

When did Millburn Park convert
to duotone, to grayscale rock
and ice with frozen winter birds?

The mallards went along with this?
Surprising. Or did I convert
and wander, color-sapped, into

a February Saturday?
I know this pond, it’s here we held
each other eighteen years ago

and mourned our unborn child’s death.
We viewed an ornamental spring,
embracing in our bubble globe

of sorrows, wretched lovers
in an allegoric Bosch tableau
of disengagement, Hell in Spring.

I haven’t been here since, and came
alone today. I’ve found
a bubble of my own, it seems,

through which I watch a man my age
across the pond, dumbfounded, stare
into the ice and rocks. He wears

an awkward yellow canvas coat
And fixates on the ducks that shake
the grayscale thaw from frozen wings,

confused and camouflaged in ice.
They drift between the rocks, and share
a kind of trapped and puzzled gaze.

Behind the trees, a child hollers
“Why can’t you keep up?” His father
somewhere: “Adam! Adam, wait!”

Advertisements

Slow News Day

February 21, 2007

frank-ohara.jpg

Photo: Alexander H. Tullo, PhD

And Now a Word From Our Sponsors

February 11, 2007

Beastie Boys killing it live on Letterman ’04

I’m in Frisco for the week. News as it happens.

Istanbul

February 11, 2007

christmaryjohn.jpg

This morning, seabirds shriek like Ganymede,
the minarets of Beyoglu clear their throats
of ancient static. Men shift from remote
causeways through the Doppler-echo streets
and coalesce in prayer. I didn’t sleep
and Hassan never called.

The bakeries
on Istiklal Caddesi, their refractory-
tiled walls igniting embers deep
inside the ashes, braid a strange croissant.
Reflected in their dusty windows, gaunt,
exhausted, I look lost. A wedding guest
neglected by the groom. The call to prayer
continues. Choirs of ancient record players
speak to God in fractured anapest.

Song

February 8, 2007

A gust of wind, a breath that moves, a god
in preparation sing the only song.
The startled cry is nothing. We are wrong
to fasten meanings, count the items, log
our bright epiphanies. The wind, the light,
the silence fill the trees with song, the seas
with bars of alternating motion. These
you have in morning, afternoon, and night.
Lean forward when the music comes
and gather nothing. Mastery of sums
and calculation cannot gauge the stark
enigma of a cloud or weigh the sky.
Be still. Communicate, create, and fly
into that choir ineffable, the dark.

Kind of Blue

February 6, 2007

b000002adt09lzzzzzzz.jpg It’s Evans’ lyrical appeal that shines
through Kind of Blue, connects the dots from Miles
to Rachmaninov, the classical, as styles
are mixed where Cannonball and Trane post signs
to 1959, to Mingus. Bill,
not Gil, when he met Miles, dropped inside
a hole in history, a chance to ride
the far end, settle in to light and fill
and fiddle with the picture. This he did
behind the scene, where Miles Davis bid
the fire come temptation. When I hear
him now, he’s sprawled across the floor that squeaked,
a helix, coding sound where Miles peaked
and cracked the intellectual veneer.

Cape May

February 2, 2007

I look upon the ancient, mortal sea
and find that it has settled to a lake
this afternoon. There aren’t any waves,
but gentle rollers on which ocean birds,
confused, just bobble all along the shore,
awaiting changes in the veil of light.

I’m witnessing a strange unfiltered light,
that partially obscures the quiet sea
along the apex of the Jersey shore
and answers back, an echo from a lake
where living things, especially the birds,
wait nervously in these translucent waves.

Eternity is mirrored in the waves
when everything is washed like this in light,
and nature pauses tentative, and birds,
in silence, wait until the flattened sea
emerges from its plane of summer lake
along these seams of zinc-encrusted shore.

I’m sitting by myself, the sand and shore,
the water, and the light shift slowly, waves
suggest the nightsong of a summer lake.
This time I understand you’re dying, light
escaping from one hundred years, the sea,
your clouded memory, like sheets of birds.

My fingers in the sand, I watch the birds
who seem so strangely lost upon the shore,
who look toward the land and not the sea,
who seem to look to me, who ride the waves
that swell like final breathes in open light,
whose stillness makes the sea appear a lake.

I’ve spent near fifty summers on the lake
and you, one hundred years an ocean bird,
our observations varied as to light,
the sound of water pulsing on the shore,
the magnitude of summer and of waves,
for mine were of the lake, and yours the sea.

But now the sea is strangely like a lake,
its gentle waves supporting silent birds
that hug the shore and disappear in light.