Salt dissolved in water sticks to my shoes
crawls up my pant legs
and leaves behind a shadow of a spectacle
somber notes at the end of a cold day in the city.
Fresh spit snow and crusty coat
chunks of ice slip and slide beneath the soles of my shoes,
black and gray speckled white mazes
through the dwarf that is me against a skyline of man made sequoias
tall brick stone buildings shining glass and glowing lights
cutting gashes through the spinning airs of the world:
soft pillow to our concerns pitted far flung in this space
where I am moving so fast I'll never slow down.
the scene on the street corner
men standing splotched polyester jackets
propped on empty and upside down 2 liter Pepsi crates
“Get a ride!” “Get a ride.”
“Get a ride!”
A taxi ride but where's the taxi?
The El runs under these streets and you can hear it rumble
you can hear it scream
and you can have whatever you want
trinkets cheap bling incense body oils,
bootleg movies hot off the press,
Bo-Sing Chicken, nails or a new haircut,
tried to go into Flynn's but Flynn's be closed:
sometimes lucky the fate of the passerby
I am so I walk on, walking man leads my way.
I slide my gloved hand on the rail and descend.
my feet graze these steps and my eyes like a beeline keep my pace in line
to keep from stumbling here at this stairwell finish line,
too late to miss this one, too late to wait
six or less or ten or twelve minutes
depending on the time of day.
I cross the platform entrance, gloves slip off into my left hand
my right now reaches into my raincoat's breast pocket:
running the pass I push through the turnstile.
Whine and screech train songs congest the air
platform three-quarters full of scattered people and I, stepping left stepping right,
try to be first in line
filling gaps in efficiency.
Doors slide open like Star Wars,
I pass portal to the land of blank stares
and vacant aural landscapes:
this but for the tinny sound of a hip hop amplified iPod
or the reasoned or outlandish cajole of a mother to her daughter
"Sit down." "Sit down!"
or the braggadocio of two seasoned brothers
slapstick black leather charm
something must have been funny but you missed it
you who keep your face buried in books
while language also is written on walls.