Friday, May 2, 2008

ghost city

the sun is making a special guest appearance, but there's no one else around to share it. quiet town. desserted town. almost ghost town, except for the old silent man sweeping leaves out of the gutter. here i am sitting out the front, hoping for a glimmer of a soul. but nothing. it's ghost city.
c h a l k talk

live model: marie ponsot

Who wouldn't rather paint than pose—
Modeling, you're an itch the artist
Doesn't want to scratch, at least
Not directly, and not yet.
You think, "At last, a man who knows
How bodies are metaphors!" (You're wrong.)

First time I posed for him he made
A gilded throne to sit me on
Crowned open-armed in a blue halfgown.
I sat his way, which was not one of mine
But stiff & breakable as glass,
Pale still, as if
With a rosetree up my spine.
We had to be speechless too,
Gut tight in a sacring thermal
Hush of love & art;
Even songs & poems
Were too mundane for me to quote
To ease our grand feelings
So I sat mute, as if
With a rosetree down my throat.

Now I breathe deep, I sit slack,
I've thrown the glass out, spit,
Evacuated bushels of roses.
I’ve got my old quick walk
& my big dirty voice back.
Why do I still sometimes sit
On what is unmistakably like a throne?
Why not. Bodies are metaphors
And this one's my own.
consider me: langston hughes

Consider me,
A colored boy,
Once sixteen,
Once five, once three,
Once nobody,
Now me. Before me
Papa, mama,Grandpa, grandma,
So on back
To original
(A capital letter there,
Being Mystery.)

Consider me,
Colored boy,
Downtown at eight,
Sometimes working late,
Overtime pay
To sport away,
Or save,
Or give my Sugar
For the things
She needs.

My Sugar,
Consider her
Who works, too—
Has to.
One don't make enough
For all the stuff
It takes to live.
Forgive me
What I lack,
Caught in a crack
That splits the world in two
From China
By way of Arkansas
To Lenox Avenue.

Consider me,
On Friday the eagle flies.
Saturday laughter, a bar, a bed.
Sunday prayers syncopate glory.
Monday comes,
To work at eight,

Consider me,
Descended also
From the Mystery.
if you wish we stayed in ghost city, tell us. if you'd like to join us and make ghost city disappear, tell us that too.
iceberg roses, folds of petals - tutus around rose hips. bees slowed by the cold, i hear them while i read. i holler at the dogs that bark, and ruin the perfect quiet. they hush, rush back, sit at my feet panting as though it's the hottest day, then run off and bark again.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Sister, oh sister, you are clever