Showing posts with label Artwerks Art-A-Thon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Artwerks Art-A-Thon. Show all posts

26 October, 2011

Two More From ArtWërks


The streets have been full for centuries.
Even if the buildings were to disappear
tomorrow, these streets would remain
filled end to end and side to side
with memories and with ghosts
and with the specters of memories.
In the dirt between the bricks
there is a memory
locked in stone and pebble
rubble and rabble
memory that filters down
and into the water
and from the water
into the dirt
and from the dirt,
it is rubbed into the soles of our shoes
and we remember again
all the things we didn't know
that we didn't know – comes to us
in dreams and in visions
and in visitations that,
if we're paying attention
will tell us the way
we are to go.


So sit down here
and tell me a story
and make it a good 'un
like the one you told me
yesterday. Tell me
about one of the places
you frequented when you were
young, and fresh the fruit was
and how the women were sweet and ripe 
and how clear and how cool
the water was and what it
felt like to really sleep,
to sleep out in the open
under the stars and what it felt like
to feel safe and to feel free
to feel something different
before all the fences and wires
and wireless was all built up
back before there were gate keepers
and invisible gates
back when you were my age
and the world was something more
beautiful than it seems today.

10 October, 2011

Random Unlabeled Photos (From Artwërks)


Paint the body electric
hip hop bee bop –
O, let us sing the songs of ourselves
electric slide
run and hide
safe and sound
sunbathing beneath a blue sun
illuminated for the body
and the electric funk
born out of a need to dance
and a desire to stay
a little while longer.


Let us go then, you and I
and wander silent empty streets
like drunkards, lovers, and reprobates.
Let us imagine ourselves ghosts
material immaterial
substance transubstantiated
wandering the bric-a-brac
counting the minutes of the witching hour
when even the cops have the sense
to go home and leave this place
to the rest of us that neither
need their rules nor
care to understand them.


Counting down the hours til dawn
all the midnight shadows are drawn
in, tied up, and stowed away
in anticipation of an approaching day
that most people will not notice
because they're too busy
being respectable, worrying
about what shoes to wear
on Sunday morning and whether
the sermon will go long
making kick off
one more missed opportunity.

The lines are drawing
themselves on my face –
deep lines around
the corners of my eyes
drawn around
the edges of my mouth.
They each tell a tale
geologic in proportion,
private in scale. The old men,
they like to remind me
I am still young. And while
I cannot argue
I cannot acquiesce
to their insistence
that it's all downhill
from here.


This is the other side of night
that place Céline dreamed of
but never found; that steady peace
that comes with the meditation
of one painted line and the poetry
of coffee at 3 AM. Counting down
the hours til dawn and the cats are yowling
or maybe
just another bunch of bums
the cops will later blame 
for various and unrelated petty thefts.

26 September, 2011

The Shady Side of The Street

In the winter, the ice builds up
on the north side of the street
and snow trucks, somehow,
manage to miss it... every
single time. Shop owners
armed to the denture with
cheap plastic snow shovels,
rock salt, and hot coffee
push the snow away from the door
as best they can, scrape and chip
away at the ice underneath –
all the result of several hundred
silent prayers by school age children
trying to avoid another math test
and the sour mood of a teacher
who is too underpaid
to afford four wheel drive.

In the Spring, the flower boxes do well
because even flowers need shade,
and the rain runs off and down to Carroll Street
unabated. Sometimes the rain comes so fast
both sides of the street look like
dueling tributaries fighting for the same river,
a sad amusement park ride
for the dirt and weeds and cigarette butts
stuck in the sidewalk cracks,
for critters so small our eyes don't see them,
eventually uncovering the unmarked graves
of stray cats left out to die the previous winter.
They wash away, too: the dead cats, the dirt,
the weeds, the cigarette butts, little chunks
of the sidewalk that avoided repair
because henpecked city work crews
couldn't get to them.

(This is not an age
where neighbors help
neighbors. This is an age
of paperwork – left behind
as the digital age takes
everywhere else. More
paperwork means more
industry, more to justify
some small town middle
manager's futile existence,
something to merit
that small plaque
placed in some ignored corner
of the old city hall building.)

The sunny side boils in the summer
and event he gadflies have sense enough
to stay away and loaf
on the shady side of the street. People
walk slow, clutch their purses and wallets
These times are tough, and the only
businesses that boom are the bars
at the bottom of the hill... the only
hiding places left. The talk on the bar stools
is the same on either side:

too much rain / too little rain
the price of corn /soy
machinery repairs / foreclosures
cynical whispers about
new businesses / new faces
lax school teachers / lazy parents
the President / the cost of milk.

In the Fall we all breathe a sigh of relief
at the break in the humidity
and the prospect of not having to mow the yard.
Night air cools. Days are warm.
And even storm cloud don't bother anyone.
This is the time of year
that makes people want to move back
to the Midwest, to the place of their birth,
to see the leaves and to loaf for no particular purpose
on the cozy stoop in front of the old barber shop
on the shady side of the street –
the one the old men used for that purpose
in that Once Upon A Time
time our grandparents used to
reminisce about and that we only
pretended to listen to
before we discovered the glory found
on a simple stoop, a cool spot on the sidewalk
in a town getting in its final stretch
before another long and buried winter.