Saturday, October 6, 2007

Days Going By in Broken English.

What's beautiful about living outside the City is that running errands requires no train transfers, no encounters with rats, no excessive transit delays, and no tourist assholes asking you which way to Houston Street...while standing on Houston Street. I love New York City, but I think the average City dweller forgets that life exists west of the Hudson. (I refuse to believe in the existence of Long Island.)

While living away from the hustle means peace of mind, I used to trade the hustle for a space in my parents' home, far away from my work and contacts, which really wasn't much peace of mind of all. Well, unless you count the free rent.

Most days, in my decidedly non-rent-free apartment, I've taken to performing the vast majority of my indoor activities completely bare assed. The coffee tastes the same, but perking it without clothing is the kind of adventure I'm up for these days: not deadly, yet not without some degree of risk.

I don't know why I told you that.

Yes I do. Because New Jersey is being very good to me so far, and because the Rutgers MFA program is an ass kicker, and because I'm beginning to appreciate the members of my workshop (grudgingly), and because life with my girlfriend is decidedly better than life without her. It was not easy to adjust, but I feel like I've hit a stride I'm comfortable with. This does not mean I'm not freaking out over the various papers that are due this semester, but it does mean that I no longer feel like I'm out of my league.

In case you'd like to visit, we live off Exit 151 on the Garden State Parkway. (This is how we navigate the state, by the way.)


Is anyone else tired of people discussing slam as if they were Lawrence Ferlinghetti discussing the Beats? For fuck's sake people, go write a book if you find it that interesting.



Still pondering Lavoe. Still pondering Sekou, but I may make him a thesis for next semester. Writing pantoums for class. Just wrote a piece based on A.R. Ammons. Like to hear it, hear it goes...

174th Street
after A.R. Ammons

Instinct, only,
to see and hear whatever is coming and going,
losing the self to the vigilence
of cold brick and telephone poles,
of live wire sparking at the puddle, undulating
asphault fired beneath rubber and sun:

Sam tells you it's not you
so much as what you can write down
between Con Edison and the scattering cucaracha,
who was here before you,
and who will be here after
the last bomb drops.

Under the 174th Street Bridge,
the Bronx River feeds green
to shattered concrete and poisoned soil.
What were once weeds, now trees,
bursting through unfriendly ground
to snake around the bridge's rusted neck.

Green glass bottles grow in the branches
(each one pregnant with new rain),
and the gods of project housing
build bigger brick cathedrals,
where their landlords seal winter inside.

"Muerte bottles," Sam reflects. "In memory
of the dead." I count them each.

No need to make any philosophies here.
God is the memory
of a small glass bottle, the music of a tree
turned windchime in August. I hear life
where death should be, the sunlight smiling
among glass and leaves. Surrendered self
among unwelcoming forms: stranger, leave
your burdens, leave the road.

Peace, y'all.

1 comment:

Francisco Aragón said...

Hey Rich:

Good to see something from you up here again (same could be said for me over at LL formerly LPR).

Glad to hear you're finding Rutgers edifying!