It is National Poetry Month and I’d like to celebrate with some short poems I love that communicate from/with New York.
My good friends Rachelle & Jeffery are also celebrating on their blogs; Rachelle by ambitiously writing a poem per day and Jeffery by posting poems he appeciates all month-long, links below.
Juke Box Love Song
I could take the Harlem night
and wrap around you,
Take the neon lights and make a crown,
Take the Lenox Avenue busses,
And for your love song tone their rumble down.
Take Harlem’s heartbeat,
Make a drumbeat,
Put it on a record, let it whirl,
And while we listen to it play,
Dance with you till day–
Dance with you, my sweet brown Harlem girl.
Federico García Lorca
The New York dawn has
four columns of mud
and a hurricane of black doves
that paddle in putrescent waters.
The New York dawn grieves
along the immense stairways,
seeking amidst the groins
spikenards of fine-drawn anguish.
The dawn comes and no one receives it in his mouth,
for there no morn or hope is possible.
Occasionally, coins in furious swarms
perforate and devour abandoned children.
The first to come out understand in their bones
that there will be no paradise nor amours stripped of leaves:
they know they are going to the mud of figures and laws,
to artless games, to fruitless sweat.
The light is buried under chains and noises
in impudent challenge of rootless science.
Through the suburbs sleepless people stagger,
as though just delivered from a shipwreck of blood.
excerpt from Puerto Rican Obituary
They were always on time
They were never late
They never spoke back
when they were insulted
They never took days off
that were not on the calendar
They never went on strike
ten days a week
and were only paid for five
and they died
A Small Moment
I walk into the bakery next door
To my apartment. They are about
To pull some sort of toast with cheese
What’s that smell? I am being
A poet, I am asking
What everyone else in the shop
Wanted to ask, but somehow couldn’t;
I am speaking on behalf of two other
Customers who wanted to buy the
Behind the counter for a percentage
Of her sale. Am I flirting?
Am I happy because the days
She does: She takes her time
Some days, I love my work.