Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I have had such a good time maintaining this blog over the past (almost) two years. But I find myself flagging, less because I have nothing to say than that I've found new ways to say it. In many cases, this saying involves really going out and talking to people in North Brooklyn and the wider world. In others instances, it requires tying myself to a chair and hitting my mind against words...which is to say, working on poems. In all cases, my commitment to the dialogue has not languished so much as my resolve to post conversations to the void. So, dear void, I end as I began (but with a new image, one recently pulled off the pavement at the corner of Lorimer and Withers):

My Community is Under the BQE and on either side of it, with Williamsburg to the south and Greenpoint to the north. I'm on the edge where streets that have been running nearly east-west tilt to run northwest-southeast, all the way to the East River. My community is changing like a prairie on fire, but that's okay. I'm not here to decry the new but to bear witness to the amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience of living in a New York City neighborhood that is changing faster than probably any other neighborhood (at least visibly) and which has a once-in-a-city experience to transform its skyscape in a short period of time. We who live here now will never again see as much sky as we do now, or as the Italians who've been on my street for decades or the Polish who've been on Nassau for decades or the artists who've been on Bedford since the 80s saw even before the Changes started happening. We're all blessed, in this little corner of the world, on this little pinhead of time. One of my favorite poets writes,

"How wondrous strange it was at that moment
to be in the flesh."

And it is.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Notes on December

It's unseasonably warm outside (perhaps the most dispiriting weather of all), but I'm listening to Christmas carols (from the time before "Greensleeves" was "What Child is This?"), and I just was outside walking by Union Pool, which smelled of childhood campfires (ode to the amygdala!). Related to this: basmati rice smells like popcorn, cats smell like cats, and a nearby candle could be a very sweet and waxy apple pie.

Poem Interlude

Crown Heights

The bells were made
of November or it might
have been the other way
around. Perhaps both were
merely points on a spectrum
of yellow, as the tree on your
street, which, more than
anything, turned love into
something we could see.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

Poem Interlude

There Is No Mountain

Heading toward the mountain:
watch for deer
watch for falling rocks
watch for school buses
watch for oversized loads
watch for chain-up areas
watch for hydroplaning
watch for historic markers
watch for sudden snow
watch for reduced speed zones
watch for motorcycles
watch for median weigh stations
watch for gas stations
watch for single-lane construction zones
watch for roadside diners
watch for crossing horses
watch for cops
watch for scenic routes
watch for birds
watch for loose gravel
watch for snow plows
watch for blind spots
watch for highway hypnosis
watch for narrow shoulders
watch for steamed-up windows
watch for low-flying aircraft
watch for log trucks
watch for hitchhikers
watch for tailgaters
watch for roadkill
watch for mist

Monday, November 2, 2009

Being a Leaf for a Halloween Marathon?*

*I did not run the marathon, but I did run by the marathon...and was inspired. I also was not a leaf, but I was a multitude of leaves, as in autumn, and I cavorted with a weight lifter and a recycled bag lady before heading into the drenched phantasmagoria of Manhattan on All Hallow's.

Sunday, October 18, 2009