Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008: On the Street…Gloves in the Chest Pocket Have Jumped the Pond, NYC

Mittens render fingers into fins or paws
That clumsily fumble with car doors, zippers, purses.

Easily dropped and stomped into snow,
Mittens wander from their owners and partners.

The word itself is cute and helpless,
A furry creature to be rescued from a tree.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008: On the Street....Wing Collar Shirt, Soho


When it was announced that the ninth grade dance would be
Semi-formal, one girl shrieked, Oh, goody
Goody! She spoke for those who wanted satin,
Rhinestones. In dress shops they asked, Do I look fat in
This? To choruses of No from moms
And friends. The photos they took were previews of proms
And weddings—couples arm in arm in yards,
On porches. The boys (in sneakers) opened back doors of cars
And parents chauffeured the duos to decorated gyms
Where songs by Rihanna and Britney echoed in the rafters, like hymns.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008: On the Street…Da Hair, Moscow

In college French, I remember a boy with a coal-black Mohawk
Like giant eyelashes combed thick with mascara

He told me that getting into cars was tricky, and involved
Leaning his head against his own shoulder, like a shy parrot

Sleeping proved equally difficult—he kept his head perfectly
Still, cheek to pillow, like a profile imprinted on a coin

His pale face and dark hair like an unblinking eye in the dark,
The stiff and straight lashes indicating shock or surprise

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008: On the Street…LaFayette St., NYC

In December, shadows drag behind us
like deflated black balloons tied to our ankles.

Silhouettes lag and linger, sag against curb
And metal grate. As I trudge up LaFayette

To your new apartment building, I will the snow
To fall, to fall, to fall.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008: On the Street…Bowery, New York

He stole his swagger and lean,
his cigarette’s jaunty angle
from (who else?) James Dean.

Just a skinny teen
until he discovered the belt buckle
and looped it through his dad’s jeans.

The buckle’s tarnished sheen
lent him—what? Not age or danger,
but something in between.

Friday, December 12, 2008

December 12, 2008: On the Street….The Painter, Moscow

The painter thought about how red
is the imagination’s default color
of cars (Hondas and convertibles)
of lipstick, of roses,
of mailboxes and bandanas.

Blues, too, are almost unusable.
He didn’t want some numskull
gushing about his blue phase
or dark tonality.

Better to muddy his colors,
he’s sure, thinking of that color preference test
in which three-fourths of those who chose brown
were soldiers during World War Two.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2009: On the Street…Those Shoes, NYC

New shoes screech,

leave behind black, gummy streaks.

These old shoes creak

and crack, settling around my feet.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2009: On the Street….Tan & Silver, Milano

The taste of the envelope lingered against my teeth
all morning: chemical, dry, slightly sweet.

My words were sticky, flavored with that glue.
I can’t recall what my letter told you, exactly,

just the way the black ink of certain consonants and
punctuation marks bled through the back of the paper,

proof of my hand’s varying pressure, of my lack
of complete control over each form of my voice.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008: On the Street…Cotton, Cashmere & Nylon, NYC

The teenage sensibility of dressing, at all times, to be seen
(because you never know who you’ll see at the gas station

cineplex, grocery store) is slowly replaced by the collegiate ease
of sweatpants and hooded sweatshirts, perhaps emblazoned

with a logo or mascot, in colours that cushion the eyes
(grey, navy, soft black). The other night, out for dinner,

Most men were in sweatshirts, women in black stretch pants
(not sweatpants, but yoga pants). We are too tired

For the structure of three-piece suits or wool or hats,
And sigh into clothes that stretch and hold us close.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008: On the Street…Flea Market Finds, NYC

The brick apartment building is shedding.
The patchwork reds and browns
crumble silently, steadily.
The bricks leave dustings of red at their bases
where the blacktop meets the foundation.

Not unlike how we deposit bits of our bodies
throughout our rooms and streets
(slivers of nail, long threads of hair),

and scarier, less visible pieces of evidence
that we identify only as dust or ash or dirt.
We scatter pieces of our surfaces on other surfaces
not unlike a trail of breadcrumbs leading to safety.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

100 postings

I just wanted to thank all of my readers for the support and is my 100th poem (below).

And thanks, of course, to the Sartorialist, whose lens I borrow and adjust, fracture, and refocus.

Thursday, December 4, 2008: On the Street….Milan, Italy

Concern: in the eyebrows, smooth to jagged
(tree limbs, December)

Disappointment: in the voice, a small catch
(guitar string, buzz)

Purpose: in the legs, the carriage, level, constant
(bicycle wheel, forward)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

December 3, 2008: On the Street….Seventh Ave., NYC

She bares her arms to the December air,
Thinks, Take that, winter.
Tracy is in no mood to accommodate,
And refuses to shiver.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008: On the Street….Aya 2, NYC

In Yellow Springs, Ohio,
I went into a secondhand shop
And saw a row of Doc Martens

They’d been painted with flowers
And with flames, with names
And diamonds and stars

A charm bracelet for tough girls,
Like the one working in this store
Who displayed her tattoos

Like merit badges or medals,
Proud, defiant, and just a little
Desire for recognition
The Storialist. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.