Note: I'm in New York City. My good friends John and Sylvia Gardner have been kind enough to let me use their apartment on W 107th. I have some time to write and read and fiddle with the little pieces of my imagination. I miss Lee, my family and friends, and I miss El Paso, but this is good for me, going about my daily life. I've been writing sort of an imaginative daily journal. I'm adding parts of it to the blog as I go along.
|Park Bench: 111th & Riverside, NYC|
I think I lost my poetics somewhere. And I’m too old to be experimental. Don’t you think? Not a lot of time left and I got things to say. I just don’t know what they are yet. Right now it’s enough to be right here—a park bench the corner of 111th and Westside Drive on the walkway that leads down into the park. I have a cup of coffee from the Starbucks on Broadway. I had a nice long talk with my wife on the cell phone. We miss each other. Now I’m back to reading a book. Or trying to. I guess somebody could argue that this is a poetics, a lazy kind of poetics, the poetics I’ve ended up with, 70 years old and here I am sitting on a park bench. Like, there’s a pile of dog shit on the northeast corner. A beautiful spring Saturday afternoon. People are walking by. All sorts of people. They talk, they run, they push baby carriages, they walk their dogs. I pay attention to the dog shit. I want to see if someone steps in the dog shit, and I enjoy seeing how they each avoid it, some at the very last moment. Women have their walk. Men have their walk. It’s about what goes on in the hips, the groin, the sex, the stories of their bodies, the histories of their bodies going back to the beginning. Sometimes the different walks get a little confused. Women and men, men and women. That’s okay. The dharma—like this breeze and the sunshine and the blue sky—has no preference. That’s because each of us is the exact center of the universe. We don’t understand this. At least I don’t. Not right now anyway. Little glimpses here and there. It’s not unusual. But miraculously nobody steps in the dog shit. That delights me. I do wish somebody would clean it up. I guess that somebody needs to be me. That’s my mother talking again. She’s dead, but she doesn’t quit talking to me. I finish the coffee and walk over to scoop the dog shit up. Ha! It’s not dog shit after all. It a ball of black yarn that looks like a dog-sized turd. I leave it where it is on the sidewalk. Let faux dog turds lie. This one has let me be happy.
—for Joe Somoza