Sunday, February 27, 2011

Where at 6:25 pm the color of the sky through the south-facing window is the color of Bruce Springsteen's jeans on the Born in the U.S.A. album cover.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Where the city--almost gray all over--cannot hide its gold.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Where instead of muffling the chronic jangle, the incessant rain amplifies the city's dysthymic syncopation.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Where the rats on 93rd street between Broadway and Amsterdam swagger across the trash-strewn street.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Where, at the Starbucks at Grove and West 4th Streets, a man shouts, "Get your rabbit ass outta here!" at a Starbucks manager—short auburn ponytail poking through her Starbucks cap—who says, "Sir, Sir, there are children here..." motioning to two boys one of whom is holding a copy of Watership Down.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Where a child sitting in a tiny black police car watches a video in which a yellow robot named Plex sings "keep your hands to yourself, hands to yourself... keep your hands to yourself..." to a blue female arctic cat-creature named Toodee, and a large black woman named Deborah cuts the child's hair while singing along with Plex, "hands to yourself, hands to yourself."

Monday, February 21, 2011

Where the frozen, snow-covered lake and the sky are almost the same color except the sky is tea with more milk than tea and the lake is the page of the world ripped away.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Where the urgent care walk-in center on route 299 is thoughtfully equipped with a water feature, a wall-mounted flat screen television with still photos of beaches and sunsets called "living landscapes," a children's room with hundreds of tiny ceramic fish suspended on white string from the ceiling, a receptionist with long brown hair and dangly silver earrings, abstract watercolors hung in triptychs, classic rock radio piped into every room, and a friendly nurse with a pink engagement ring and a pronounced cold-sore.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Where the snowshoes on the ice-crusted snow sound like a saw pulled back and forth through a plank of wood until the wind sweeps in like a crashing wave turning the sound of each step into the scrape...scrape... of sandpaper drawn slowly in one direction.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Where, at Yeshiva Museum, the artist Sebastian Mendes sits signing thousands of names on a large piece of paper to commemorate his grandfather, a righteous crypto-Jew who saved thousands and thousands of lives in 1940 in the South of France by signing 30,000 exit visas, while at the same time, in the same city, a young Jewish boy runs around and around in the basement gym at day care during movement class singing a happy nonsense song that sounds like "naaaatseeees.....naaatsees..."

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Where, on the uptown platform at 7th ave and 14th street, the drum goes wild but the trumpet mournfully plays the same eight notes over and over until the melody drags its lyrics from memory......... "just call my name and I'll be there"......and the words and melody linger long after the doors close and the train pulls away from the station.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Where at the Starbucks on 103 and Broadway a man says, "hey this is Monty so are you gonna conference me in on this ACCPCC thing to be a fly on the wall?" and then, without speaking, quietly jiggles his crossed legs, takes his glasses off and tosses them on the table, lurches in his seat, makes a low clucking noise, puts his glasses back on and types loudly and angrily on his laptop, takes his glasses off and rubs the bridge of his nose and then rests his face in his hands, taps his foot on the tiled floor, crosses his arms over his chest and sighs, hugs himself and shakes his head slowly back and forth while looking out the window, chews on his lower lip, looks up at the ceiling and breathes deeply, chews on the inside of his cheek and nods, licks his lips...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Where listening to a 10 year old present a detailed plot synopsis of a four book young adult fantasy series—"her soul was going to fly out of her paper body... but when you kill a god you've got to put on his pendant so...—is easier after two sake-lychee slushies at Momofuku noodle bar.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Where, like a fisherman keeping steady pressure on his line, a woman pulls and pulls a young girl toward school or day care and girl's elmo (red wrist held tightly in her fist) dangles, jiggles and incessantly smiles, open-mouthed, at the ground.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Where the metal thermos filled with three day old crab fried rice exhales when it's opened.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Where, before sunrise, the boy suddenly appears and asks, "how do you spell Punisher?" and the mother spells "p...u...n...i...s...h...e...r..." to the boy who, bathed in the eerie blue-gray light of the iPhone, finds and touches the letters with his tiny fingers.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Where, Friday morning on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, they mix yeast in warm water with a pinch of sugar and watch as something blooms gray-white below the surface: a cauliflower, a nuclear cloud, proof of life.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Where the leaky hydrant's spittle quickly forms icicles on a parked truck as a construction worker cuts a deep incision in the street with his water-powered machine.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Where in preparation for a TB test the public school's registered nurse scrutinizes the 11 year old boy's questionnaire--Do you smoke? Drink? Take drugs? Been raped? Are you homosexual?--and takes him to task for not exercising three times a week to which he responds, "At least I'm not having sex?" and she frowns and injects the bubble under the tender skin of his inner arm.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Where, in the stupefying cold, the car alarm's rhythmic cry— honk........honk.........honk..........honk........honk—sounds like a mechanical duck left behind when the flock migrated.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Where the air is temperate but the city holds onto its piled snow like an old grudge.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Where, between Newark and Secaucus, the Empire State building appears through the window of the train like a lighthouse on a distant shore: welcoming and warning.

Where early Sunday morning the Woodley Park Zoo/ Adams Morgan station metro stop with its vaulted ceilings and spooky, floor-up lighting looks like an art museum in a sacked and abandoned city.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Where the sun is the outcome, the moon is the past and the now is pentacles governed by temperance.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Where as they speed down U street the powerfully soft-spoken older poet in the front seat who calls everyone "my sister" or "my brother" offers words of wisdom including, "you come into this world alone and you might go out of it alone, " to the younger but no longer young poets in the back seat who are (if they are lucky) in the middle of their lives and on their way to celebrate their new book and what will be (if they care for it) a life-long friendship.

Where, outside the hotel room, a woman laughs, a door slams shut, a child runs by asking, "stop at the wall, this wall?" and then, after a few moments of what seems at first like silence, the interior space offers up its sound for observation: a quiet gurgle like a fish tank filter, a low rumble like a washer-drier in the next room.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Where, on the Amtrak train to Washinton, D.C., every time the man by the window answers his cell phone it sounds like he's saying, "hello?... I'm dead, how are you?"

Where the speed of the train elides a tree and a tree and a tree: there are only trees.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Where the city is molting—sloughing off its icy epidermis.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Where the night sky is one faint shade away from mauve—the color of a soft, gray blanket washed free of its blues and reds.