bambu, brz #1

Saturday, 2.11.17
Salvador

And so this is my first foray into Brazil,
          away from the airport,
          where the bamboo leans over into the road.

João’s mother is elegant and kind,
          and is about to veer into one car
          as she flips off another.

And there’s sunlight dappling through the trees.
And the soil is red.
And even though there are dunes in the distance,
it’s unfamiliar and
         exciting.

fourth of july, ny #36

Wednesday, 1.2.19
Brooklyn Bridge

The sixth sojourn back from Michigan, by car.
A full day’s trip.
Normally we cut down 280, catch the Holland Tunnel.
But we had company with us,
          and whenever we have company we take the George Washington Bridge
          to the West Side Highway.

What could I have said to raise you from the dead?
Oh could I be the sky on the Fourth of July?

Sloping, sweeping views—
          they sneak up on you.
It’s a nice introduction to the city.
Once you get past the sterile Trump buildings
          in Midtown.

Where everything was fiction, future, and prediction
Now, where am I?
My fading supply

It’s when things get exciting.
The Freedom Tower sneaking up on you
like that.
But then, always, that same fucking roundabout.
          (Take the second exit,)
          ( (…you spaz.) )

Such a funny thought to wrap you up in cloth
Do you find it all right, my dragonfly?

The GPS was having a good time with us,
          as it does.
Usually a straight shot down Chambers Street
          to the Brooklyn Bridge.
A detour, then. OK

Make the most of your life, while it is rife
While it is light

Down Broadway, and around the elegantly named
          “People With AIDs Plaza.”
Questionable maneuvering of this Cadillac SUV
(am I seventy nine years old?)
          possibly illegal.

Tell me what did you learn from the Tillamook burn?
Or the Fourth of July?
We’re all gonna die

But no one is out on the road at this late hour.
Because, despite everything they tell you,
          New York is the City that sleeps
          roundabout 10:49 p.m.
And so we’re stopped on Park Row, at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge
          for twenty minutes
          for god knows what reason.
          (El Chapo.)

We’re all gonna die

… and then suddenly,
we’re the only ones crossing the Bridge,
and nothing had ever happened at all.

patti, ny #22

Thursday, 5.2.19
Webster Hall, East Village

Patti,
Tell us a story?
//
Once upon a time there was a guitar player who wanted to get to the next song,
but some asshole wanted her to tell a story.

……………

Lenny Kaye: I was worried they’d renovate it in here, make it nice.
Still a shithole…
What every good shithole needs
is some punk rock.

……………

“Jesse! We love you!”
Patti: “Stand in line.”

……………

A storm blew in over the island of Manhattan.
“It’s a little dark in here,” she said.
…they cranked up the volume.

……………

april fool
are you experienced?
redondo beach
my blakean year
beds are burning
dancing barefoot
ain’t it strange?
lenny kaye covers: (lou reed, rolling stone)
after the gold rush
25th floor
southern cross
pissing in a river
gloria
people have the power

 

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o til, brz #2

Monday, 2.13.17
Ibirapuera

Sao Paulo without the tilde is unfamiliar, flat,
          not the São Paulo I came to know and like.

          See?
It needs the tilde… o til.
          A little less exotic without.
                    Don’t you think?

Worth the extra effort, I’d say.

São Paulo is kind,
creative,
familiar…
          that bustle, the drive, the ambition.

People are too busy to bother much with you, though, like in New York
          so you can

                    explore freely.

ephemera, ny #20

Thursday, 2.14.19
Grand Central

Class gets out at 9:30, officially. Sometimes earlier, sometimes later. The same man is on the platform again but I didn’t realize it was him until it happened. He’s nondescript and distinguishable only by his activity as a train approaches and rumbles into the station.

He stands as close to the edge of the platform as he can, the tips of his toes sticking out over the precipice. The blast of wind from the entering number 4 train tugs at his coat, tries to fling it off, drag him down into the tracks. He remains steadfastly in place. It’s so clear to me how at peace he is while the blur of the train nearly consumes him. It’s an ethereal peace; a desperately sought after peace. He can only find it here, now. The city is too busy bustling and moving and dancing and damning to find it anywhere else. Eventually the train slows and then stops. The doors open. He gets on and paces the length of the car three times, tap tap tapping the rails. Eventually he takes a seat close to the door where he entered, but he is disquieted, unsettled.

Hoping, I think, for something else.

 

fleabag, ny #17

Tuesday, 10.2.18
Brooklyn

“Hi. Do you have any flea shampoo?”

She looked behind her. “We don’t… FOR WHO?” She yelled the second half of the sentence for reasons I couldn’t understand.

“My dog.”

“We have this here,” she pulled off the shelf a rickety old bottle. “Natural,” she said. I read the label.

“It says this treats just the bites…”

“It’ll kill ‘em,” she said with a certainty I trusted. I continued reading.

“Well how’d he get ‘em?”

“She. And I have no idea. She’s never had them before.”

“Well you gotta fix it quick before they get everywhere. Does your vacuum have a bag? You have to vacuum the eggs up but they’ll still hatch in there so you gotta throw it away quick before they hatch.”

“You’re trying to scare me.”

“I’m not trying to scare you. You gotta get ‘em. What kind of dog is she?

“Bulldog.”

“You got a kitchen sink?”

“Yes… what?”

“How big is she? Can she fit in the sink?”

I calculated quickly. “I doubt she’ll go for it. Small but mighty…”

“If you get her in there and submerge her, you’ll see, they’ll come running up her neck.”

“How much is the shampoo?”

“Eleven dollars.”

“I’ll take it.”

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