#1
Just, please read this. A culmination.

Life/Death/Beauty/Night/Hats


There will be nothing poetic about this.

I have a broken ipod, a phone, and the people in Bronxville, suited, downtrodden, and toothless, remind me of home. I'm sitting waiting for the train, it's 1:15 PM. The kid from Maine next to me blabbers on about his father's birdhouses in order to impress his date. they're going to thrift shop, maybe kiss. 36 degrees- freezing level almost. An old lady calls out to a black man across the tracks to teach him how to buy a ticket. We get in and start moving. I lose track of the kid from Maine and his date in the crowd.

The floor is cold so I find a seat. Fleetwood, Woodlawn, ect. We pass water tanks and trees, riding backwards. The Mexican across from me wears American Eagle and speaks Spanglish. Two black kids talk about Wolverine and Iron Man, the movies, not the comics. They hear there are secrets after the credits. They sound like idiots. Is that what I sound like?

An ex-marine, I can tell by his coat and build, does his taxes, then seals a letter with an American Flag stamp. The black kids discuss the difference between the hobgoblin and the green goblin. There's an empty Macy's bag on the ground. Jesus, there are people alive who remember it's inception, Rockefeller and all that. Crazy. They'll be dead soon though.

There are a lot of different hats around here. I don't know the names of most of them. Fordham. The Mexican leaves. Next stop Harlem-125th street. I'll never make my Apple store appointment at this rate, oh well. I take the mexican's seat and it's warm. The ex-marine coughs and burps. The black kids get off in Harlem.

There are a lot of bricks passing me. It's hard to believe how many people are probably buried under them. The track lines underneath the train, the broken scraps of metal, the pebbles, the pipes, the steam, the electricity, the river, the bridge, the bodies somewhere. "This is the train to Grand Central. The next stop is Grand Central."

Graffiti on the Barry Manilow billboard. Hell, I thought he was dead. A lot of pigeons out today. A lot of gulls. Suddenly. It's dark underneath the city. It's dark underneath the ground. Even with the florescent light flashing every other second. The familiar sound of speed increasing the train rocking the wind howling inside the tunnel, the lights in the train flicker and then. Silence. Emergency exit 59th street. We ease into the barracks, the ex-marine and I, and prepare for deployment. I need food.

The apple store wouldn't take me. I was 22 minutes late, oh well. The sandwhich I bought and now eat in central park is dry and miserable. It's sunny though and a lady with a scottish terrier is laughing at the ducks. The dog's name is Sparky and he wants my leftover lettuce. Then the lady and Sparky are gone from the bench space beside me and the skyscrapers are casting taller shadows on the lake and ducks. The water is still partially frozen.

My girlfriend of 2 years 2 months is yelling at me through the phone. I hang up to be alone. A british couple asks for me to take their picture. I get my prints all over their camera. "Cheers," "You too."

I find myself at Wollman Park perched on rocks. Parents look on in horror as their children jump from boulder to boulder. And look at those skaters on the ice, those kids holding hands with strangers to not fall. Sixteen years later they'll realize those memories, those ghastly strangers, were their first loves. French couples are laying against one another. A kid says "I am not enjoying this," she has scraped her knee on the rocks.

A sparrow darts past my eye. For some reason I feel as if I could cry at any second. I rise and walk.

The Gazebo, made of wood and lover's carved names. I start to carve letters into the wood, mine then heres. It doesnt make us part of history, I reason, it just makes us good, whatever that means. I was alone here. Then two French men show up and sit across from me humming some creepy French song. I had only gotten halfway through the carving at that point. I used my keys. They speak in staccato and in single sentences. Awkward pauses, I am sure they want me to leave.

There are no boats to rent in the Winter. A man in the distance sings Knocking on Heaven's Door on a Ukulele. The French men see holes and pretend they're woody the woodpecker. First one, then the other. Suddenly aware of cobbles under my feet and the light over those cobbles. The bramble bathed in light, thorns, twisting knots of dormant wood. So alive. The roots look like chandeliers. It strikes me that the sun is actually going down. The Frenchmen won't leave so I can finish carving. Maybe I will come back tomorrow. Yes, I will come back tomorrow.

On the river, the water's level is low this time of year, a father and son make a dam. The dad lays the rocks and the son asks what a miracle is, what a miracle means. They splash eachother. I can tell they love eachother unconditionally. It's amazing. They have made the water level rise. The dad builds a fort. The kid builds a flag from a stick and his scarf. I'm sure theres a murderer in Russia whose gotten off without charges who will never be as happy as there two right now.

Hear the water surge through the water only to stop at their engineering marvel. The sun reflects brilliantly off of the river and lake. From where I sit I can see how bright the world is. The wind blows cold to compensate.

The old battlements I come across don't remember why they were built. Belvedere Castle. My arms rest on the granite, my arms love the granite. Overlooking a new lake, the shore is frozen over. More hats, it is getting colder. A drainage pipe out of the turret flows ice, it has crystallized and looks like blown glass.

Inside, the walls are lined with trinkets. Preserved oak leaves, painted turtle shell, a little brown myotis bat skeleton, bracket fungus, and a first grade "I Have a Dream" project poster.

"I have a dream that I can have lots of toys! and I have a dream the I went to school and I learn to be successful"
-Dynasti
"I have a dream that I won't cry. I don't like crying."
-Mike

Beautiful. I had to leave. The castle's warmth once again giving way to the outside air. There are loons on the ice. It's a wonder they don't ever get frozen there, but maybe they do. 'Brotherhood begins with you' is etched on a bench I pass.

I give one dollar at the door and get the yellow MET button. I overhear a black man tell some girls where the bathroom is and I follow. I end up somewhere in Babylonia, find a bench, and sit in front of a massive bow from the remnants of a boat. An ancient security guard yells at me for using my phone. I say thank you and sorry.

A woman carries a baby who must be less than 8 months old in a sling. She holds him close and reads him the description of a bronze Mesopotamian dagger; two antelope facing one another and a lion charging on the hilt. The baby is asleep. He doesn't have time for symbolism. Museum murmurs all around, steel, copper, gauntlets, goblets, maps and history. Lordy lordy lordy this boat bow is huge.

20th century art wing, sharp angles, lots of college students. Jackson Pollack, I am staring at your painting. There is dyed canvas, and splotches, and streams of color. The man sitting to my left blasts freeform jazz from his ipod headphones. Oh yeah, he appreciates art. Pollack, why am I drawn to you? Why are you art and why am I not? I miss the boat bow.

It's so clean here, so sterile, art on bleached whitewall. Metallic frames, lowhanging wires. Every 20 something girl here is the most beautiful girl I have ever seen. They keep topping one another. I am starting to understand this museum.

The medieval wing. I have spent the last while following a sixteen year old boy in a cardigan sweater tell absolutely charming stories about his previous experiences in art museums. The two girls with him giggled right along and the world kept turning. I hated the faggot for being an insincere asshole. He'll get laid tonight, I'll be alone.

The lady on my left is nervous. She keeps checking her phone. Maybe she's been stood up on a date. She grabs her purse, sighs, and walks into the darker part of the room. She was wearing a sunhat indoors. The Virgin Mary is all around me. Somewhere in this museum Dali's "Crucifixion" stares holes and makes muscles twitch. Art haunts.

European wing. Naked cherubs, reformation, blood and breasts. The water looks dirty in all the paintings, gondolas working through sludge. Asian women peruse the portraits, men sit and look at their feet. Three on a bench with children, exhausted. A machine checks humidity in the corner. It beeps, too hot. I move quickly.

It is cold again. I put on my hat walking along Central Park, down 5th ave. 76th and counting. Dusk. Tower lights in the distance, taxis honk, besides that, just the whirr of traffic. 6pm. A lady whirls around because she thinks I want to rob her, but how could I rob anyone with such a silly hat on?

I find a fountain somewhere with chairs to sit at and tables to write on. It smells of chlorine. Nostalgia. Millions of cars, millions of lights, buildings so tall they block out the horizon. Artificial lights in the water show the children where their wishes go, wet and shiny Lincoln faces. The wind makes the ripples into waves. I feel my skin constrict and shiver the release, it feels like a storm is coming. All alone in the night the city that never sleeps looming, a mother and a girlfriend who won't pick up my calls, a broken ipod, no music. I feel my chest under my jacket, and my lungs under my chest.
#2
I am sure someone thinks I'm insane when they see my lips move "I think this might be paradise." I'm sure that that someone wears a hat to keep them warm. If I rise from this spot I will be cold again. I stand and start to walk to Grand Central briskly. I look over my shoulder at whats following.

Sidetracked, down to Pop Burgers, the best mini-burger joint in the city. The digital surround sound is playing Moby. Two kids eat burgers at the counter beside me. They really want water. This place has the same Warhol prints that everyone else has. More sterile chrome frames. This restaurant is made out of goddamn chrome.

The dad tells the youngest to open the hanger, the food is an airplane. I didnt think that actually worked in real life. People take their hats off to eat. Crying kids, my time to leave.

Back in the train, bound to North White Plains, I'm tired. I close my eyes and listen to the talk as it melds together and the whimper of wheels underneath me as they begin to move, slowly at first, my head jars back. Picking up steam. The bullet. The bright whirr in the dark of the New York City suburbs. I'm in it's belly breathing my breath. My head keeps the secret to life. This note book keeps the secrets of the day. Together they remind me why love is beautiful. Absolutely.

This isnt poetry. Just the way I think.
If this means nothing to you just know
that it means the world to me,
it's the only world I have.

-Feb. 21 2009
1-7:22 PM
New York City.
#3
In a sense, this is brilliant.
But I also found it to be rather... disjointed. It sort of rambled and didn't.
I know that's the style of the piece, but idk.
I left the piece not really sure what I was meant to have taken from it.
There were a lot of nice sentiments that were touched on slightly, but not so much that I was blown away.
It's probably going to be one of those pieces that ties itself together the more you read it.
I'll try that.
It was very engaging though.
O! music: Click (Youtube)


^ Click to see an acoustic arrangement of Ke$ha's 'Your Love is my Drug' - everyone's favourite song.
#4
For lack of a better way to critique, I just wanted to point out the ones I really liked :

I take the mexican's seat and it's warm.

Parents look on in horror as their children jump from boulder to boulder.

I get my prints all over their camera.

two French men show up and sit across from me humming some creepy French song.

My arms rest on the granite, my arms love the granite.

Jackson Pollack, I am staring at your painting.

Every 20 something girl here is the most beautiful girl I have ever seen.

I hated the faggot for being an insincere asshole. He'll get laid tonight, I'll be alone.

This restaurant is made out of goddamn chrome.

The dad tells the youngest to open the hanger, the food is an airplane.


I feel like I just went to New York for a few minutes.

I'm not sure I like the ending how it was wrapped up, like, in a way I think I was expecting it to be wrapped up at the end and hoping it wouldn't be and it was, although, whatever, that's not a big deal. But I was thinking I'd say something like 'this isn't poetry, but whatever it is I liked and like it', but you of course wrote that at the end - which I really appreciated as a reader. So I didn't like 'my head keeps the secret to life - the end, with the exception of 'this isn't poetry', but (with that said) it was unlike anything I'd ever really read before, with these images.. this's worth something
Last edited by parkt921k at Feb 22, 2009,
#5
THe only bit i didn't like of this was the last stanza. It detracted so much from everything you'd spent so long building up and i found that incredibly disappointing. Everything else...the imagery was amazing, the tone, it was so real and gritty and there. Fan-f***ing-tasing.
#6
I like how you introduced with how it wouldn't be poetic. I had to read it twice to fully grasp it, but it was a nice story. Great imagery, and I did like the 4 last lines.
#7
thanks guys. I don't know why I was so insistent on you guys reading this when i first posted it. oh well.

definitely the best non-fiction prose piece I have ever written.

for reading.