Tuesday, June 28, 2011

One Shot: four tokes, inhaled

4:23 in the belly of the beast, claws
sparking rails as it drags on east, taking us
deep into the city streets & through the
double pain window i watch, as she,
head sides shaved, the rest pulled into swirl,
bobs & weaves to the beat, buds in her ears,
a private little dance for the world  as she clings
to the pole, car rocking to & fro---

disgorged, we ride escalators out the bowels
of the drag-ons den, heat rising the higher
we move from the station to the streets &
at the corner crosswalk we wait, sweat
the moments til the red man turns white
for us to walk, when whizzing by flies a wide
smile singing at the top of his lungs, erect &
helmeted on a blue weaving moped---

block upon block they stack up beneath
the treads on our feet, asphalt's fault lines,
we count cracks to the harbor, where ships
masts rise, pointing fingers to the one, sun, and
behind thick black glasses, bushy brows
twitch & the artist spins charcoal butter-
flies on his canvas, unseen by the naked
eye, but in mind, beautiful---

an old sax man, set between two ships
moors, drops notes in the warm air, firm fingers
working the knots, temples, shoulders, neck,
har-bringer of night, streetlights awaken, eyes
as we prowl, prey, slow & pad soft as not to disturb
but gently run our tongue along its pulse points,
bass & treble of the ci-tay, as it trembles
in intimate joy---

52 weeks ago, 4 people thought they would throw a party to celebrate poetry...A year later, I invite you to join us as we celebrate once more. It is One Shot Wednesday, so write something poetic already and get out on the poetic dance floor. The doors open at 5 PM EST. See you there.

101 comments:

Daniel said...

Dude, the feel and vibe of this one. Stirs up pictures in the mind. Lovely.

slommler said...

I hear you! The pulse of the city..the dreams of young and old...sigh! So much to say!
Hugs
SueAnn

Tara Miller said...

A very vivid day in the hot city of Baltimore. I like the beat you gave this one and the description of the metro "in the belly of the beast". Four separate lives in this big ole city, doing their own thing, finding their own joy and, maybe unknowingly, bringing joy to us onlookers. (I also found joy in watching you take everything in while we were on our trip and then breathe life into it...here.) You do it so well ;)

Ruthiey said...

oh I love the ci-tay! you just reminded me how much. :)

ladyfi said...

I can feel the urban jungle's beat! Great writing.

5thsister said...

Having just visited the "big city" I thoroughly enjoyed the tempo of this piece. You brought me right back to the rhythm and feel of the streets.

Eva Gallant said...

Wow, you captured the sights and sounds of the city in this one! Beautiful!

Betsy said...

haven't ridden the subway in years...I'm here in the tree tunnels!

One year? wow...congrats to all!

annell said...

As I read your piece, I felt I was jumping from stone to stone, liked it very much!

annell said...

As I read your piece, I felt I was jumping from stone to stone, liked it very much!

DJan said...

It is a cool tone poem. I think you inhaled but was it only four? I will head over and see what other people are writing for One Shot.

JennyMac said...

You are SO talented. Pulse of the city...love it.

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

Hi! Brian...
Oh! no, not again, the words that comes to mind game: big ci-tay,vivid description,beat,music,head-bopping,sub-way, ipod,speed,moped,sax,musician,brian,poet,52,one-year, very well-written, congrats, and thank-you,
deedee ;-D

jabblog said...

Very rhythmic - and congratulations on 52 weeks:-)

I could feel the heat and the beat - well done!

Natasha said...

Okay...so I've a bit of catching up to do! (It's another grilled cheese week for me as the real world invades my bubble) This write brought back many memories of the late night foot tours along the Halifax waterfront that I used to live for. The chracters, so much more defined in the light of late night with a little help from some very colorful friends. Desperately seeking inspiration, I may have to regress back to my wild days of youth! Fair warning :) Or...I may just rely upon the awesome image in your previous post. (Yes, still very envious!)

hedgewitch said...

Lots of intelligent interior rhyme and wordplay make this particularly effective in building visuals and that city mood--and I hate cities--still you make this one bloom with possibilities here. Good stuff.

Louise said...

Loved the 'feel' in this, the last few lines especially...*trembling* :)

David Allen Waters said...

reminds me of my recent trips to the city....brilliantly done

Pat Hatt said...

Not overly fond of cities but you really bring out the life in them. Tons of images come to mind through out the whole write. Especially the last part, vivid pulse to the city, nice.

ayala said...

I love the life you breathe into this, just as your wife says. I love her comment, and her love for you that jumps off the page. :)

Heather said...

you gotta love the heartbeat of a city! Congrats on a YEAR! That's tremendous! excellent stuff - i went to visit the site....:)

Nancy said...

Gotta love the City.

Help! Mama Remote... said...

You have me feel as the I just brought a poetry book & I'm being skooled on mad poetic lyrics!

Sue said...

My cities have been Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco. You've capture a piece of each one here.

Great job, Brian.

=)

Heaven said...

I feel like dancing along to the pulse and rhythm of your city. Mudane ordinary scenes but put together it creates vivid images of the place.

I will be coming along with my dancing shoes to the party later ~
see you!

AmyLK said...

its great to see the city through your eyes and poetry.

Helen said...

I have lived in five major cities ~ each with a completely different pulse/vibe! When I visit now, I'm pleasantly surprised at how quickly I settle into their unique rhythms!

Beautiful poem Brian ~ beautiful.

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

THAT was a fabulous ride. Congrats a year later!

we are the we said...

I am so in NYC right now, on the subway in the heat of the summer, swaying to the rhythm of the city's song.

I love this. :-) It feels good to be back. I only hope my words stand up to anywhere near yours! '


Hugs, Lisa

trisha said...

a vivid description.

happygirl said...

Had to be DC. Oh well, loved it.

velvetinapurrs said...

Really enjoyed the journey, felt like sitting next to you on the train, and then walking with you through the streets, looking at the people, great pace to this, and love the way you play with words, double meanings etc..very cool!

signed...bkm said...

Wonderful...could be any ci-tay..USA Chicago, San Fran...the beat is right-on and the R&B is ready to be heard....very nice..bkm

ethelmaepotter! said...

"Drops notes in the warm air" is powerful, remorseful, romantic, casual...all at the same time. And just a part of the every day life in the city.

Brilliant.

Pat said...

Hot town,summer in the city, back of neck feeling dirt and gritty. You described it so well!

PattiKen said...

Great capture of the pulse and throb of the summertime city. i especially liked the image of the wide smile on the moped, singing at the top of his lungs. Who could not smile at such an expression of joie de vivre?

Margie said...

I was right there with you in the big city!
Wonderful write, Brian.

Oh, thank you!
Always!

Margie :)

Claudia said...

i was immersed in the breath of the city and felt her beating pulse and warmth...and you know i would've sat down and stayed with the old sax man until he would've gathered his belongings, took his hat, smiled at me and disappeared in the reverberating darkness..

Baino said...

Love city nights, especially down by the Quay here, very buzzy but it's nice to get back to the quiet of home.

G-Man said...

Hot Town...Summer in the City!

..Walkin on the sidewalk hotter than a match-head.

LauraX said...

wow brian...love the last line...really powerful poem.

moondustwriter said...

Hot city days - vivid pic

And what a year ...
Thanks for the memories Bri

lori said...

"& the artist spins charcoal butter-
flies on his canvas, unseen by the naked
eye, but in mind, beautiful---"

Very nice. I was definitely dropped into these moments with you. We were in DC last week very briefly, and I felt like I could sit and stare forever.

mark said...

Vivid and intoxicating...

Friko said...

I love the ease with which you play with words.

Lena said...

A fabulous piece, Brian! I had my son's band lulling away in the background of my head with their new song Wasted City accompanying your words. It was kinda weird yet fitting...!lol

Dulce said...

happy 52th weekaversary...
and this one shot outstands so well as to celebrate, sweet Brian!
:-)

poemblaze said...

excellent imagery throughout!

Luke Prater said...

Stellar wordplay and poetic versification... great imagery and I particularly like the Narrative aspect of this one, the several stories, or perhaps I should call it four vignettes; portmanteau piece I think they would have said at College but ah those are just semantics. Suffice to say, I like stries in poems, and I actually don't know if I've come across (at least not for a long time) one that contains several like this. Reminds me of the film Four Rooms

Congrats on the anniversary... you rock dude. Onwards and upwards

Timoteo said...

Liked the subtle word play

double pain
drag-ons den
har-bringer of night
the ci-tay

and does the title suggest your source of inspiration here?

Asobime said...

You do Urban landscape so well. You bring me along to places I either avoid or don't know. Bravo, Brian.

The music in this is rocking.

Lady Nyo

Kim Nelson said...

You made me yearn for the big city, Brian! VERY effective piece.

Chris G. said...

It's quite the tale you weave my friend...and quite the journey we've all been through. Been an honor working with you the past year.

Andy said...

Nice piece, Brian.
Even I can relate to the "ci-tay".

Congratulations on reaching the big ONE milestone over at One Stop...looking forward to many more with you!

Old Ollie said...

Happy aniversary! You do good work for us poet types!

Fred said...

Brian, you know I like your work, but this one has to be among my favorites. Really cool vibe throughout, some killer int. rhyme going on. Vivid and well done:)

Kate Hanley said...

I can so hear the rhythm of this one.

Linda said...

This takes me back to my teen-age years, when we would make our forays into New York City. I felt it again in your words. Great job Brian.
Congratulations on this first anniversary. You've done good!!!!

Mary said...

Brian, you brought the city alive in this poem. Happy one year with One Shot! It's definitely a wonderful site.

Mama Zen said...

You nailed it. A fine, fine write.

daydreamertoo.com said...

Happy Birthday to the fantastic four!
Another great piece of intricate yet flowing, writing to go with it.

Lynne said...

"behind thick black glasses, bushy brows
twitch & the artist spins charcoal butter-
flies on his canvas, unseen by the naked
eye, but in mind, beautiful---"

great lines.. I know this person.
This piece had me snapping a finger and taping a toe and wanting to hit the street..

great write Brian.. (you write with a fresh energy..much enjoyed)

zongrik said...

asphalt fault lines - reminds me of this http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/features/15002/

Helena White said...

Have not been to the city in awhile...Nice piece Brian...

mrs mediocrity said...

You have a way of transporting the reader to be right there, seeing what you see. Some really great lines in there... "the artist spins charcoal butter" being my favorite.

marousia said...

Love this! The beat is fantastic!

She Writes said...

I thought I was at a music festival for a minute there :). Loved this.

Taking my very first poetry class ever, Brian :).

Beachanny said...

Caught the rhythm of the city here. Made me home sick. Love the biggest cities..where it all happens...my faves ... NYC, London, Paris. Every step on those streets is a step in time. Great piece. Thank you for everything Brian!

pandamoniumcat said...

I really liked the style of this piece. A canvas of words that captures the city perfectly.

Sheila Moore said...

nice urban beat - I like the city but love the country!

Quotes,Photos and a little Poetry said...

Super great I could feel the heat and count the cracks as read listen to the beats. #Loves

amy said...

love it, love the urban staunchy rhythm--your rhythm really captures my attention every time!

Celestial Dreamz said...

a fantastic city rhythm, the urban pulse, caught in this poem and is dealt with a painter's brush ... you are quite an artist.

haikulovesongs said...

LOVE ~
the title
the wordplay
the rhythm
the life of the ci-tay

another amazing poem, Brian!

Phoenix isn't a "city" city ~ no one walks, especially when it's 115 degrees. i'm envious.

BIG congratulations on OSP's anniversary!
d

Shrinky said...

Oh, you've painted the snap and crackle of metropolitan life so alive with this - it's smokin'!

the walking man said...

Though I general I pass on the one shot (too many bullets in the gun) this one is an outstanding rhythm that describes MOST cities.

C.M. Jackson said...

this was like a jazz piece --each stanza has its own feel and rhythm..I could feel and experience each one and it was a thrill! very well done Brian

C.M. Jackson said...

ps--love to hear you read that;-)

Rajlakshmi said...

i loved the vivid imagery, it's so well described.
Enjoyed reading :)

blueviolet said...

I love, love, love the vibe of a big city.

Sean Vessey said...

Great capture of the pulse of the city. Wonderful imagery and word choices. Happy onestopwednesday birthday! Thank you for making it possible!

Nomar Knight said...

Loved how you bombarded me with images. I lived in a busy city, so I appreciate being taken back in time. Great writing, once again! Thanks for the poetic treat!

Kerry O'Connor said...

I marvel at how well you recreate a scene. Excellent work.

C Rose said...

Brilliant walk, I think I want to go again! Words so vivid they make you see color is the best way I can describe. Really amazed by it! ~ Rose

Joanne said...

Ah, the fullness of everything! You do capture the real in all it's textured detail so well, Brian. Definitely a looking-through-your-eyes experience. Thanks!

randallweiss said...

I felt like I was walking with you through this cityscape. I especially like how you incorporated jazz rhythms into the last stanza.

kkrige said...

Happy anniversary Brian. Thank you so much for inviting me to the party so many months ago. You helped to breath life into One Stop, as much as you always breath life into your very own poetry. You are a wonderful support system to so many myriad people & that is a thing to cherish. All the best to you today & into the future ahead of the One Stop team!

Glynn said...

This is like a close-up view of a painting or photograph. Wonderful poem, Brian.

Steve E said...

One-Stop-Poetry-Shop, and did you envision this kind of growth? Something for everyone. Something for every day.

I played a volin solo in Carnegie Hall during a cold February morning--got there before everyone else, stood out on that stage midst the Great Musical Ghosts of the past, and played my heart out. The only pair of ears belonged to the janitor in the gallery, picking up candy wrappers from the night before.

adeeyoyo said...

Brilliant, full of the city's atmosphere... I could really feel it!

Cassiopeia Rises said...

Was just in NYC wither my sister. It was loud hot and dirty but also wonderful. Great poem


Melanie

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the reason, but I do understand that avoidance is a comment in itself. Silence speaks volumes, but there were two people on Wednesday's list, their numbers were side by side on one stop submissions, who you purposely skipped over without leaving your dependable comments. You always make a special effort to leave a comment for everyone who participates on one stop. Good thing you will not find this comment being it is so late in the week, but if you had found it, I would not believe you if you said it was an oversight.

Brian Miller said...

ha. you are right that silence is a comment into itself...and i always notice the comments and if you really want to talk about it, email me.

Goofball said...

you make the city sound like a monster...I guess sometimes it is

lucychili said...

love the bluesy fingers

Lolamouse said...

You make the city come alive. Even makes me miss Charm City a bit!

Olivia said...

Beautiful sketch of the city!
awesomely done.. your words made me see the place through your eyes..

Hugs xox

william said...

excellent sketch mate, loved it...

Syd said...

Nice. That harbor with the boats is special.

Liz Rice-Sosne said...

Don't know Brian if I read this last year or not. Yes! This is Jazz Poetry. Loved it!

Björn said...

Ah.. had to follow that link from the dVerse page and see this too.. very cool... and took me right into that room and got me tapping and dancing.. :-)