Downtown Wilkes-Barre

There’s a woman

who looks like a man

in her car

on her phone.

 

My heart’s been knocking under my breast

I deep breathe to open the windows

“GET THE FUCK IN THE TURN!”

But the man-phone-car-woman doesn’t move

like I ask shim to.

 

Someone I see sometimes

collects doll heads on his walls

makes skin into lampshades.

He stares under my clothes tempted

walks on stilt legs

in too big suits in too small brains.

 

There’s the market and people

candy sellers

serial killers buying candy

candy I’d never eat.

 

You said you looked for me there today

I’m sorry I missed you.

I like you unexpected

walking smack-dab into pieces of art.

 

When my cat curls up in the sink

its because there’s no water.

She likes fresh water

to watch it, to move it, to drink it

and when she can’t she curls

into the porcelain bowl

like a muscle in a yellow shell

just to be close to the possibility.

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8 Responses to Downtown Wilkes-Barre

  1. …just to be close to the possibility. We have to position ourselves, at least our best guess of what that would be, to have the barest chance of finding, touching, communing with the stuff of our desires. From dreams, poetry. xoxo

    • rachvb says:

      There is hope in possibility. Possibility is not dread or fear – at least when I think of what possibility is. It is the platform for dreams and the moment before we leap from the platform.
      Thank you for your response. I’ve been writing differently than I am used to (I hope to call it growing, but I’m not really sure yet – although it has to be, I can’t really be writing backwards). I chug along and then there’s doubt and then chug along again. I remember in ‘The Triggering Town,’ Hugo mentioned something about the fact that we are always searching for a way to write, always chasing it. I wonder if writers/artists are really ever satisfied with their work once they are done?

  2. I don’t know if satisfied is what any of us become. I do think we recognize when we have to let it be what it is. And I don’t think writing backwards is even a choice…there is just the one direction. I certainly hope.

    • rachvb says:

      I agree that writing is never a backwards motion. It’s all growth. I know that, I feel that at least.
      Dylan Thomas said in an introduction to his life’s work that there were many poems, lines, images he would like to have changed upon the re-release of the collection, but if he spent his time rewriting everything he wouldn’t have time for new poems.
      I suppose I need to learn to recognize when to let it be. I suppose that comes with instinct.

  3. I like this, very much. It has surprise corners and twists:

    There’s a woman
    who looks like a man
    walks on stilt legs
    I like you unexpected

    and vibrant unexpected language:

    “GET THE FUCK IN THE TURN!”
    serial killers buying candy
    to watch it, to move it, to drink it
    walking smack-dab into pieces of art.

    I think you should be in love with this poem. I am always satisfied (in love with) my work and if I’m not I keep at it until I am. That’s pretty much keeps me going forward. I think at least for poets it’s imperative for us to fall in love with our poems. I know it’s fashionable to hate or pretend to hate our work but I think we absolutely have to be in love with it, true love. It’s our job.

    Rebecca

    • rachvb says:

      Thank you, Rebecca.
      I love the idea of embracing our work. thank you for that. I don’t ever want to hate my work. It seems strange and horrifying to send something out in the world that’s rooted in hate, that has hate woven into the words. I was struggling with how to know when something was finished – and yes, you are so right, it really must be about true love.
      I’m oddly reminded of the scene in Princess Bride with Miracle Max where he revives Wesley because of true love. =)
      Rachel

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