Saturday, March 27, 2010

Varick and Watts

         "See the mechanical moons,
          sick, being made
          to wax and wane
          at somebody’s instigation." -Elizabeth Bishop

I wanted to say something haunting
about the way headlights bring out 
shattered fragments of glass 
in the sidewalks

we were walking
late, too late for our mothers' liking
had they known, but they didn't know
because it was the beginning of November
and we were sophomores--

second years in the city,
the four of us, free-range girls, traipsing 
late down Varick, toward 
the filthy maw of the southern tunnel.

The wind off the Hudson, like a leaking plastic
bag, sent party fliers hopscotching uptown.
There was a feeling that every moving thing
was being whirled by something unseen, 
by something that was close to revealing itself, 
and right then

I wanted to say that the smoke 
circling out of the subway grates
smelt of rotted cabbage, but I didn't.
There is nothing that needs to be said
when time and circumstance are stitching
their unrippable needlework on the soul.

7 comments:

Ande said...

This was a very good poem. The narrative is enchanting and I could feel the smell and the air when reading it.

The Scrybe said...

“their unrippable needlework on the soul”, I love this.
Such a beautiful, nostalgic, poem. And the above quote has made me want to pull out my Cocteau Twins records :)

Francis Scudellari said...

I love the setting, and the tension between saying and not-saying. The magical feeling of that moment comes across really well.

Jenny Enochsson said...

The presence of the moment described is so striking yet sublime. A bit eerie. Lovely poem.

human being said...

ahhh...
yes... nostalgia...

the way the information about the characters and the scene is revealed here... is like the flow of smoke...
soft and slow...
like sadness...
like love...

all these together is nostalgia...


you said something haunting... this feeling that has filled up my soul after reading the poem is so deep... stays with me long... i'm sure...

old pajamas said...

This is absolutely lovely and haunting. Thank you.....pajamas

Megan Duffy said...

Ande: I'm glad it felt enchanting to you. I think that is what I was hoping for.

Scrybe: Thank you. My nostalgic music is the soundtrack to "Pulp Fiction."

Francis: So glad that tension comes through.

Jenny:Thank you. Eerie is certainly how I felt when writing this.

Human Being: Thank you, as always, for your insightful comments.

Old Pajamas: thank you!