Man at a Window (text)

by holdingbreathmemoir

Man at a Window

…from here

let’s get these bastard

bottles cleared like

that a cigarette a match

playground’s full of brats already

candied voices carry up

through leaves through heat but such

is hell the season doesn’t change I spent

the night between the window

and the shade saw the sky fill up

and fade the sunrise

steaming from the dust of dawn…

…a splendid song rasps

from the kitchen all night

radio drifted from station

to station food that never got to where

it might have done some good

dries on plates ashtrays overfull

bottles rolling on the floor the motel

on the Merritt can’t compare last time

she found me this way there not quite

in fact like this not so sober not

so cool not the sense of purpose I have

now she came because I called can’t

fault her there won’t call again

I saw her wish

she saw my body shrivel down in lime before

I took another breath another hit

a splendid song Lester Young

or someone

goes on too long sax

makes passing reference to piano

piano staggers sadly underneath I know

this one used to know it

let’s lean out and have a better look…

…toward Harlem there’s a haze the greens

and reds of stoplights snake along the park

a cake of ether clouds a false door

through which snows come raging

pigeons panning paradise

limitless…

…a holiday out there and this

is how I honor it spraying my demands in quiet

reeking breaths into a maze of brick

no one’s called in weeks God damn

the windshield flashes from the street

eyes of cattle turn to me I never thought

I’d be a man who

never thought

I’ve never seen a silence stronger than that sky.

(Hear the audio version of the poem in the post below.)

 

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