Saturday, July 2, 2011

I thought I'd throw this poem into the blog this week. After all I am a poet, and this poem just happens to reference the moon. I wrote it a few years ago after coming back from Jamaica. I was inspired by the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen. Might I also add to the phrase when in Rome do as Romans do, well in Jamaica do as Rastas do... After being home for a few weeks and contemplating the sunset this poem came forth. I do love it very much, I one day hope to read it to my children as a sort of lullaby.


I Was there

She said
She said I was there when the Moon called out to the sun
Except the sun never answered because the day was never done
So the Moon sat by itself
With only its own glow to subside its loneliness 
It sang lullabies to the earth
And prayed for sweet dreams 
Prayed for the day that it would see the sun
     Again she told me she was there
She said
       I was there when the Moon called out the sun
But the sun could never answer
Because her task was never done
She caught the echo of his call from the other side of the earth
She sent pieces of her self and surrounded him with light
So now it was the moon and the stars dreaming at night
      She said I was there when the sun waited for his reply
He didn't know how  so she cried
And every time she did a star fell
He tried with all his might to make her happy
Shedding pieces of himself moon shine and all on to the water 
And when she would look at it
 It would glisten
I love you, I love you , I love you Night into day
I would purge myself from the heavens just to see your face 
    She said I have seen the sun sink down to the water and wait
Wait to see the Moons reflection sitting there
So she could drink him 
That way they would never be apart
But she would sink so far away
 Until only traces of her hope Kept the earth lite
Leaving sky and the ocean to meet on the horizon
For soul searches to walk on water and into Heaven
     The Moon prayed to the Heavens as so did the Sun 
they prayed for the day they would meet and be united as one 
They made promises to the child they shared 
The Sun promises to keep its days warm and its grass green
The Moon promised to keep it blessed and its nights full of peace
The Heaven's heard their plea 
And when the earth was content and these promises kept
Heaven answered their prayers
 She said I was there when The Sun and the Moon came together
Under one sky
Made the earth stop turning so there was no time
They came together for a moment which lasted for eternity 
They elisped into a kiss and held each other 
While earth looked up with a blinding gaze
That no one could ever stare at
This was a private moment
This was Sacred 
This made earth pray to Heaven 
And thank it for its Moon and for its Sun
All in the name of love 
Photographing its self to the earth
Giving in dawn and dusk
          She said I was there when it was just the 
Moon and the Sun 
I was there and I saw it
It made a sound so loud on my eyes could hear it 

If you would like to hear this poem check out the link below...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

At twenty three this City was full of life. Waking up half-skunked off cheap wine and liquor and heading to work hung over was just another Thursday morning. The night here always feels young, always holds the most open ended promises of whatever your heart secretly makes to itself. There is possibility here. I love it here, so why now is there a splinter of sadness slithering its way down into my stomach and making a bed there? I resent my birthday. As smoke rises from each candle there is a silence in the back of my head as my ambition for what once seemed so sure wanders through my body. Looking for a place to settle and start its fire. My hands that once crippled themselves around a pen and wrote feverishly have lost their place on the paper, like a half way prayer it goes nowhere.

I have started my "slow burn" in life, as a friend put it. I have been a server for too long. I have no use for the pen and pad there, I write nothing down its all by memory. I have worked so many hours per week, per year I can memorize a table of twelve's extensive order, but can't even memorize my own poem. If waiting tables was a career I would be CEO. I work for a corporate restaurant group, and for a corporate place is pretty easy going .  Except I hate it. I hate being twenty six and waiting on a table full  of young successful people. All the credit cards handed to me are Amex company cards. I feel stupid, and ashamed. I feel my age cracking through my position and they could see I have long expired the societal age standard for this type of work. A panic sets in as I am wringing out the same specials again, and all of a sudden I see outside of myself. I see myself standing there, older than I want to be and the voice in the back of my head says "what the fuck are you doing ?!" This is not what I wanted. This wasn't suppose to be this way. I was to be an artist. I wanted to tell stories through myself. Instead I overhear conversations from my tables. A guy in a suit and tie says "Yea, they're all artists..." As if to say we failed, that his average personality, and goals in life got him thus far. I must admit it must be nice to have health insurance and weekends off. I can't blame him.

Its not just what our family and society expects from us. It is also what we expect from ourselves. I do want all the standard American dream amenities. House in the suburbs, kids, picnics, security... All of it. I found myself wanting it more, especially with the current person I am with. Not only did I grow up in such a manner but that life seems complete. It is wanted by many. The American dream has been the cause of many broken backs in this Country. Yes, there are parts of me that scream out and want to forever be a vagabond in this City. Exchanging cash for booze. Travel to a foreign county, work on a vineyard in Argentina. Learn a new language, adopt new eating habits, swim in the ocean, jump of cliffs, exasperate every part of my being until I die. Until I settle down in a cottage in the country or at the beach. Write out my life. Drink from my wine cellar and feel happy. However I am getting older and I don't want to spend my days alone. And maybe when I am older I will think of me now and say "I was so young, I had so much time". Maybe I will think of myself as a lost fool, who wasted time on worrying about how to make up for the short amount of time I spent doing the things I didn't want to. I want a lot of things. I am unsure of so many. The one thing I am sure of; Waiting tables is not working! So for now I'll apply for front desk positions, and half heartily to grad school. Hoping I find my niche, make everyone around me proud. Keep around the one I want to stay. And happily spend my summer weekends at the beach. I have a pinkie finger grip on my dreams which still call out to me at all hours of the night, as if they were the wolf and I were the Moon. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Beacon Of Light

It is 11:15 pm. I submerge into the subway, sliding through turnstile and heading to the edge of the platform seeking for a light at the end of the tunnel. Its the yellow glare beaming off the rails and puddles on the tracks that lets you know the train is coming. This is a spark of hope and excitement ignited in ones self. Up until this point its been twenty minutes. I have started the process of kicking a cement pillar, cursing out loud and talking to myself. I just ended a twelve hour shift and all I want to do is take off my boots and swish my bare feet around on cozy bed sheets. Instead I am stuck down here, and all I can think about is work tomorrow. Not to mention I left my Ipod at the apartment and I am now alone, with my thoughts, and I cannot stop narrating.

The subway can be quite the exciting place. Cutting through times square there are always subway performers. Break dancers are a huge crowd pleaser, some times they come on to the subway car and do flips down the aisle. They are always teenage boys, starting with synchronized dance moves and clapping to draw a crowd. Within the group is the ring leader, then you have some ones little brother and of course the one without a shirt flexing into a back bend. The drummers are my favorite, as the train comes they bang faster and louder mimicking the heart beat of this city. When getting ready to go out on a Friday or Saturday night this is the best way to get amped up. The trains are packed with pre gamers sipping from faux Gatorade and diet coke bottles. As if we are a bus load of grade school kids on our way to an amusement park. Instead we are mid twenties pumping adrenaline mixed with vodka mixed with red bull. Congregating at bars and clubs and apartments, fully motivated that tomorrow is not a work day and we can do this "fun" adult activity until the bars shut down and the sun comes up.

Getting home from a night out is a whole different story. Now I believe I know the trains quit well. How to get any where in Manhattan and fast. Except for at three in the morning. Getting home, especially depending on an area , the more deserted the less likely the train is going to be there when you need it to be. Like coming home from Park Slope at 3:30 am and waiting for an hour for the R train to pick you up. Mean while you watch a man sitting on the subway steps vomit in his sleep, what a way to end the night. Especially when you forgot your Ipod. During rush hour , depending on mood and urgency you will gladly brush by people in a harsh manner, shoot dirty looks and stick your foot or hands into closing doors then pry it open just to make the train. Time is money, and you just cannot afford to be late in this city. Its amazing how when first moving here the compassion you bring...  slowly it trickles out of you. I don't know if my patience has grown, or run out? Before I could never say no to a homeless person begging on the train , now I can easily turn a blind eye and a cold shoulder. My arrogance shutters "I got bills to pay".  I am not proud of this, but over the past three years I grew a thick, briny coat of skin. Its all I have to protect from the cold, dark and dank. From the peddlers and onlookers. Here you learn to say "No" frequently and often. Its sad, especially when you realize this isn't who you were.

Without  Ipod, or magazine or some other distraction you become trapped within your head. Thinking things you don't want to think. Paralyzing yourself with anger or fear, seldom are there happy thoughts. There is just "Get me home, I am so tired". The sound of a train pulling in or leaving squeals as though they are the shrieks of lost souls taken in by the under world of New York City transportation. The dreamers who flung their aspirations onto the tracks as dreamers suicide. Sometimes you just got to give in, find a different path and learn to live like that and hopefully be happy too.  All the while you will catch wind of questions like "what if? " and feelings of regret. Letting go of anything means dealing with loss, with drawl and sadness. I believe the stages before letting go of your life's dreams is called the "slow burn". An older co-worker of mine said I already started mine.

A big fat rat (All New York rats are big and fat) scurries by on the plat form. And all I can think about is the scene in Interview with a Vampire when Brad Pitt picks up a rat and eats it. I heard a story about a crazy Italian uncle of mine, well my grandfathers uncle. Who picked up a rat and bite its head off when it scurried by his table at a ware house he was working in. Did they have tetanus shots back then? Shots? No health insurance...I am pretty good at being sick but not calling out of work. I can't afford to not work. God I hate my job. Who am I? This isn't who I use to be. I use to be so much nicer, I use to tolerate people's B.S. I use to always say "Yes". Should I go out? Everyone else is out. No stay in, save money, go to bed. I'm tired. But I am young! I should be out, who cares if I loose sleep. I'll sleep when I die, right? There are other nights to go, I guess it doesn't matter. Tired.

I keep frequenting the edge of the platform for signs of light. Nothing. A cold breeze seeps in, the water drips from the ceilings and two more people walk down into the subway. They are two foreign guys. Take note that the subways in the winter are cold and during the summer they are hot. You'd wouldn't think that would you? I am a vagabond traveling underneath this city. I hustle , I hop trains, I weave in and out of large crowds I am never seen. Its 11:45 a distant horn blows, the lubricated rails glow and sparkle, a light appears and becomes brighter and brighter. Every bone in my body unhinges from their connecting joints. I can sit and relax on the plastic orange and yellow seats. My stop has arrived and I emerge out underneath a new moon and smile. Feel the cold air again against my cheeks, the dark blue sky is blowing steams off white clouds across the sky, and it is beautiful. I feel young, I feel alive. I am home. Back in my neighborhood in Brooklyn. Rest has come.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I am with out Virgil

It is 5:30 in the morning cold, and dark. My body has just settled into a deep sleep and the alarm clock is going off. The previous hours were spent lying awake thinking about work. Thinking about the next few days how I will be pulling a triple. Working from sun up, and past sun down. I think to myself "God they're going to make being fired really easy." Under the winter moon I walk through the clear dark and the black snow. Gowanus is just as beautiful at 5:30 in the morning as it is at noon. I cross over a bridge, underneath sits still water that comes from nowhere and leads to the same exact place. A car with four lumber yard workers cuts in front of me. I pass a group of men loading caskets on to a truck from what I assume is the coffin factory. The only interaction I am yet to have is with the guy at the deli by the Union stop. I believe I stiffed him a dollar by accident, I ran out quickly to catch the train. I jump on to the R and did not notice until the train is above ground, its the D. I am now twenty minutes late to work.

As I begin to hate the world, the sun continues to set the stars on snooze over and over again until the sky is a soft blue. I realize I am not the only person awake. The self pity diminishes the will to survive kicks in. Pay rent, pay back loans, pay off the credit card that led me into debt while being unemployed, buy groceries, buy toilet paper (kidding we take toilet paper from work). You are not the only person who lives under this roof, surprisingly someone else needs this from you too. We all do it. We are set back again after the first of every month. We are not alone. Together but separately we live under the glamorous guise in the city. Bright lights, tall buildings, men in suits, women in fur coats. We are not these people. We are the people fixing your meals, shinning your shoes, getting you to and from work and home again. We are the ticking of the clock, setting the pace to move and go. There is no stopping, there is little sleep, little time to eat. Our days off are Tuesdays. Fridays and weekends don't mean a thing.

It is 6:10 am, silent and empty. I had other plans and dreams for myself. Now at twenty five dreams vanish into a vicious cycle. Stuck on a hamster wheel, praying for a way out.  We come to this city like sacrificial lambs. We gave ourselves up in good faith and in turn we have been swallowed. Some people make it, and the rest will struggle on. Living a vivid day dream in their head that some day things won't be this hard. Only to wake to a harsh reality and you find yourself saying "Yes, ma'am right away." Friends wonder how I work seven days a week and still don't have any money? I wonder that too some times. Same as my parents wondering how come someone with a college degree isn't able to get a regular salary paid job. No one seems to get it except for the people you work with. They understand the difficulty in salvaging self dignity while  hands and knees wiping mayo off of someone's shoe.  I don't have many years left of my youth but I will take the compliment when older adults call me a "baby". I will drink without caution and not worry about a mortgage. I push dreams of weekend brunches and stability to the far end of my mind and only stay in the moment. If I continue to dwell on what seems so untouchable, that is when I find myself in the corner of the room seeking oxygen.

When I finally get to work I put my game face on. Smile joke and laugh. Find happiness in others company. There are bills to pay. Yet, still I am dreaming. Still I believe today is the day when all of this will change.