Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, November 8, 2007: Yellow & Cream...Paris

Children hurried by, skeleton suits and tulle and superhero garb
winking out from between the wool coats and scarves, their layers
of costume competing to be seen.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008: On the Street...The Sculptor, Moscow

Her hands worked best from 3 to 4 AM,
some worldly clock sounded in her brain
and roused her from the darkness of her bed.
The white comforter curled into the corner
like a pale, downy dog, waiting.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: On the Street...The Graphic Designer, Moscow

When I saw Anna on the street,
(in the street? Prepositions
always do-see-do for me)
she stood coatless outside her office.
She called it a cigarette break,
though she’d never been a smoker.
Where’s your coat, I asked in passing.
Upstairs, she shrugged, hands clutching
elbows in a mock hug.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

October 28, 2008: On the Street...Fur & Sweatshirts, Moscow

What can be said to her
to stop her from stealing my clothes?
The sweatpants and t-shirts
she hoards from my drawers don’t
return. Worse, I swear Grandma Trudy’s fur
(how did she find it, stuffed into a trunk
in the basement next to boxes of VHS tapes
that I haven’t watched in years?
I imagine her dark eyes shining
as she stroked the cape with tenderness)
clung to her shoulders as she stole past
the bedroom and through the front door.
She leaves her dresses and jeans behind
for me, I think. Souvenirs.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008: On the Street...In the Crowd

Onstage, the new actors are learning not to walk,
but to perform walking.
From stage left to stage right, say
(and remember that all stage directions
are from the actor’s perspective,
proof that process is art’s compass).

Pick a point across from you.
Make your selection deliberate:
There, I want to go there,
And move. Real movement, urgent and full of purpose,
of intention.
And if you are still, create a reason to stand:
defiance, terror, quicksand.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008: On the Street...West 18th St., NYC

No mere pocket square,
the peacock feather leaned from his jacket,
elbows-over-balcony style.
Its cobalt eye catches mine,
and with fringe held high,
dares me to blink.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008: On the Street...Tailored Tee, Paris

Somewhere nearby, someone is doing the laundry.
I smell the powder and suds on the wind.
All the clotheslines have vanished,
but they’ve left a phantom fragrance.
It’s up to you to hear the clothes flapping
like a white sail, a rug being shaken over a balcony,
a paintbrush’s first contact with a wall,
the muffled thwap spattering your face
with coloured punctuation marks.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008: On the Street...Wrapped, Paris

I can’t leave the house without putting on my face,
Veronica used to say.
She meant her make-up. She’d grab her purple case,
unpack a dazzling array
of powders, vials, lotions. Red and pink
and green were lurking just
beneath the lids, like bloodshot eyes. Our sink
was coated in flesh-coloured dust.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008: On the Street....Photographer Style, NYC

The difference between
shirt and skirt:
h or k.
Change which you say
and the garment inverts.
Sounds spin like pictures
on a slot machine.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008: On the Street...Little Star, Paris

Here’s my problem: for as long as I can remember,
I’ve ended up in other people’s photographs.
The frames of strangers. I know because it happens
Biweekly—I walk into a new friend’s apartment,
And in her family portrait with Mickey Mouse,
There I am, vanilla ice cream cone in hand,
Walking toward a trash can. In a gallery
Last week, an exhibit of 90’s images
In New York caught me crouching in the street
Outside the elementary school. Or now, that couple
Kissing on that bench, his arm extended
And pointed toward the kiss—I tell you, I’m in the shot.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008: On the Street....Shoulders, Paris

The alien beauty of a six-foot girl
with shoulders, clavicle, hipbones sharp
and scary-angled as metal hangers—
Her looming beauty belongs on a stage in a tent.
She is meant to be gawked at and photographed.
But in daylight, amongst the other humans,
she is a fugitive, foreign, dangerous.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008: On the Street....Adorable, Milano

Knowing, private, intimate—
Call it what you like.
The language in lovers’ eyes
brews, percolates.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008: On the Street....In the Air, NYC & Paris

No matter the year here,
the vision of the future
is again & again
shine and curved surface:
a disco ball world
of airborne traffic patterns
and Tinman, robo-garb.
’10, ’29.
With the click of a Rubik’s Cube,
time shifts into place
and still cars crawl on the ground.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thursday, October 9, 2008: On the Street.....Via Bagutta, Milano

When hair grows in grey or white,
it hasn’t transformed. Not quite
the way I expected: instant, an overnight
quicksilver flood. It began with a slight
shine, a halo at the scalp, and she explained
the pigment just stops, the dark ink restrained.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Monday, April 30, 2007: On the Street....The New Denim Shape, Berlin

Gulping the morning’s orange pulp,
I realize the juice is saffron yellow.

Expectations are pre-emptive,
muddling experience under their pestle.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thursday, October 5, 2006: The Girl at Dries Van Noten

At first, I wore them to dilute the sun.
My eyes sighed, relieved by the amber stain.
Now I wear them even in the rain,
Wondering what they protect me from.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008: Before Balmain

Her feet did graze the street,
I think.
But just barely. Her verb:
Some girls are less attached
To earth,
To its anchored, heavy
The Storialist. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.