Wednesday, July 13, 2011

i, A.M. with you

The rising sun blooms, a flower. Petals shimmer in radiant color along the horizon leaving the air thick with its pungent aroma which clings to our tongues with each breath we huff. Our feet, one in front of the other, file along the harsh sidewalk toward the bus stop. Each footfall a first step laid against the desire to turn back to a cocoon of warm blankets, where dreams live.

Eyes bleary, a cabbie leans against his golden stead, talking through a bushy moustache to several men, gathering the day's news from each others mouths. They are loud, but a comfort to those that silently shuffle beyond them into the day.

Pink, a girl, head to toe and even her lunch box, fords the asphalt to join a few friends. They will spend the day in the old school building, passing time on the playground and in classrooms until their parents are released to come free them.

A dance club rave card flutters, flipping this way and that, moves against the human flow, having peeled itself from the corner of the small shelter where people gather to wait for the bus. Bright in color, it flees the dawn light, more comfortable in the long dark night.

Cordial smiles, we shuffle foot to foot marking moments until the appointed arrival. A young suit, eyes closed, swoons to croons of the iPod in his ears. Shorts and t-shirt checks his texts. Stretch pants follows the numbers on her watch while she jogs in place, a monitor strapped to her arm counts the meter of her heart.

Inches from my canvas Converse, pressed against the plexi-glass encased advert where a tooth filled face invites us to watch the evening news, lays a body, legs stretched, arms pulled to the chest. Stiff and unmoving, devoid of life, unnoticed except in disgust, a fly crawls across its stomach.

A mouse, a pest, a menace for digging in trash to find food, or invading for shelter. None will mourn its passing, but many will complain of its stench. A black cat eyes us all from beneath the skeleton of a scrub brush that burst through a square gap in the concrete. the cat too waits for us to move on to other things, so it can claim its prize and pick the brittle bones of life once lived on the edge.

Hiss, exhaust wafts around us, as we file on and head off, flower blooming still through the rear window, painting the backs of our heads.

written for Imperfect Prose

6 days to dVerse

61 comments:

hedgewitch said...

Impressive, Brian. I haven't stood on a city street corner in many years since moving to the sticks, but you bring it, and all its moral and immoral aspects, characters and issues, to vivid life here.

Oh, and only 6 more days! Can't wait.

David Allen Waters said...

this is so vivid, so alive....it brought me along on the journey...brilliantly done :)

Stranger said...

You've described an urban morning well. The people seem like mice scurrying around trying to survive, but the metaphor is so subtle here it could be missed or ignored.

kaykuala said...

All good things can be seen in a yin and yang sort of, as a balanced life.It is cleverly depicted here, accounting for good or bad, life and death. Even a tiny fly can make a difference. Wonderful prose!

Heaven said...

Vivid images of what is an ordinary morning bus ride to most people. I noticed that you observe people closely, taking note of subtle things about them. Most commuters just shut their eyes and mind to these scenes -but you narrated this with depth & meaning.

And I must say the name of the new place - dVerse- a nice touch of word play there. *smiles*

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

this is almost scratch and sniff :)
and thanks for the link to imperfect prose!

lori said...

Favorite line, "so it can claim its prize and pick the brittle bones of life once lived on the edge." Great example of being dropped into a moment. I felt sadness as I read...

and woo-hoo for dVerse :)

Heather said...

i hope that isn't Madeline the Mouse....ha! Great portrait of our busy "mouse" like lives...Have a great day - I'm off to the big city on the bus.

Fred said...

Nice capture. I really liked the narration, put us right there in the scene. Sometimes just observing the everyday can be described in an extra-ordinary way, well-done

Valerie said...

Oh wow, a new favourite. I felt like a player reading this, remembering the past when I too took part in the morning bustle.

Pat Hatt said...

Another great scene capture from you
Really liked the reference to parents being released and the kids waiting to be free too
As old and young both are chained in one way
Both wanting freedom at the end of the day

Mighty M said...

Your eyes and ears never seem to miss a thing!

Mama Zen said...

I particularly like the part about the rave card. So vivid!

chromapoesy.com said...

I am mourning the mouse.

ed pilolla said...

you capture what we notice of people, their prominent elements, especially in the morning as i am not a morning person at all:) the hustle and bustle energy here is very engaging. i still nickname people as such in my head, and i can only shudder how i get so nicknamed myself:)

Bonnie said...

I've run out of superlatives, Brian, but you know how I feel about your writing. d'Verse is a great name and can't wait to hear more about it.

Sue said...

I've been there, for sure.

=)

PS. And I can't wait for dVerse!

LadyCat said...

Love the title incorporating AM.
You have brought the daily grind of the rat race to life. I can so relate to "Each footfall a first step laid against the desire to turn back to a cocoon of warm blankets, where dreams live". This is my struggle every weekday morning.

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

Hi! Brian...
Once again, your poem is very descriptive...great imagery without faces or names no matter which way you look at it I have every image from people to situations in your poem in my mind-eye.
Thanks, for sharing!
deedee ;-D

[postscript:
Brian, I have already "grabbed" the link to dVerse and placed it in my hope chest.lol]

Monkey Man said...

Vivid observations, well versed.

Eva Gallant said...

What a great portrayal of the morning wait at the bus stop!

Scott said...

Yeah,if you're not out living then you have nothing to write about. "...aid against the desire to turn back..." Strong writing (just in case you didn't know)
"fords the asphalt" Oooo...good line!

Claudia said...

reminded me when i commuted by train to my workplace for two years...always loved to observe people..and they all tell their story without talking...excellent capture...love the wordplay in the title

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

the still small world around as we stop and breath deeply of life.

What a poignant portrait your words paint.

SandyCarlson said...

A beautiful meditation of ordinary life. Each element is a thread in a profoundly beautiful tapestry.

tony said...

a Timely Post Brian!CHAZ My Cat Ate A Mouse This Morning & Was Later Sick Over The Sofa In My Living Room!
No Death Is Insignificant .Every Death Has Consequences.

Quotes,Photos and a little Poetry said...

This was #amazing. real the descriptions, maybe to real the odor.

DJan said...

So perfectly crafted, Brian. I was there, I saw and felt the scene. I bonded with the pink girl fording the asphalt. Then the rave card, and last of all, with the cat.

Katherine said...

Well one thing is for certain Brian. You are everpresent in living your life... you're soaking it all in & I love that!! You have the art of "Being in the Moment" down to a fine art. Your naration of the hustle & bustle of a normal morning in the city streets is eleoquent & masterful, which is just as it should be.

Titanium said...

Words from one who lives life wide awake, both eyes and heart open, and sees things that have become nearly invisible in the world around us all.

Your description of the sunrise in the opening paragraphs is exquisite.

Cinner said...

beautiful as always Brian, taking it all in. be well.

Daniel said...

This one pulled me in. It could be the start of a novel. Setting the scene for what comes next. Cool.

annell said...

One of my very favs!

Daydreamertoo said...

You are a wonderful observer of everyday life and relate it all so poetically well in vivid pictures. This was a wondereful read, Brian.

Can I ask a favour of you, I just tried to note Leah, she left a comment for me and I was trying to leave her one in reply but, though the comment box is there and the boxes to give my inf the click on to actually send it, isn't working.
I don't know if it's because she is on typepad, or something like that. Can you let her know I tried to leave her a comment, please?
Ty.

Tracie Skarbo said...

You my friend, are the king of details.. and I loved every moment of this post... but I think the detail I liked most was the one of the cabbies exchanging words. Bang up job!

Victoria said...

I felt like you were the spectator, writing detailed notes of everything you took in, using ALL your senses. This makes me want to go downtown and sit at a bus stop and write. So good.

Cloudia said...

you words
are worth
a thousand
pictures!



Aloha from Waikiki;

PS: My new blog posts are still not updating in blogger/reader OR links on others' blogs
but I'm still posting! :(

Comfort Spiral

><}}(°>


> < } } ( ° >

snowelf said...

my favorite part was how you described the cabbie leaning against his golden steed.

--snow

tracy said...

Dang it, there you go again. Making me smile with some of your words and pucker up and pout with others all in one post. Have I told you how much I love that?

Steve E said...

Perfect Prose for "Imperfect Prose"

Brian...you may 'paint pictures' of life. But I believe your finished product is about YOU. In the sense that you put yourself into every being: animal, mineral and vegetable.

So when you 'show' yourself, open yourself up, we get to see each of these creatures, creations, as they really are, how they think, feel...because you ARE THEM. WHEW!

You are a genius, Sir
PEACE!

Margie said...

Wonderful prose!
Love these lines ...
*Our feet, one in front of the other, file along the harsh sidewalk toward the bus stop. Each footfall a first step laid against the desire to turn back to a cocoon of warm blankets, where dreams live.

Magical!

Me said...

I know you're famous for your poetry, Brian...but i do love it when you go in these other directions. Great piece. :)

blueviolet said...

I have never been on a city bus before. What a world I've been missing.

Myrna R. said...

This brings back memories - New York, taking the bus to go to school. Nice write as always Brian.

ayala said...

A great write, Brian. Enjoyed the journey....

Unknown Mami said...

If I were featured int this, I think I would be "tired baby-shit pants".

CM said...

I totally saw and felt every paragraph. This reminded me of downtown in my city. You did a great job of eloquently recapturing every minute detail with the magic of a true poet!

Tara Miller said...

Ahhh - the city awakens with the shuffle of the early morning commutes. It's nice to have a subtle reminder that we need to stop and "smell the roses" along this journey called life. Every day is a new day...slow down and breathe it in. :)

Slamdunk said...

Your works remind me of a personal failure--I tend to overlook things and certainly miss out on all that is going on around as described so well in your writing.

KB said...

Excellent work.

Jeanne said...

I like the way this is more than just a slice of life. We are looking at everything at once...sort of reminds me of a kaleidoscope.

Colleen said...

Ah I have missed your writing. I love how you create everyday images to show a deeper sense of humanity.

the walking man said...

Oddly enough most people wouldn't have enough vision to see what their eyes saw.

Pauline said...

the way you use words reminds me of some artists who use sticks or their fingers or toothbrushes rather than conventional paint brushes to create their art. the words are familiar but they mean something different when you make pictures with them! amazing...

Lorraine said...

I don't know how I feel, I shake my head and the feeling won't go away

oceangirl said...

i am amazed at what you see (what caught your eyes) and how you can print it into words pixel by pixel.

Friko said...

Perhaps I'd better stay here in my tiny backwater. Plenty of mice here too, of course, the elderly who live here, at least have time for a pleasant 'hello'.

Natasha said...

Imperfect my @#^! I was there, as dragonfly, spinning through the street, harassing the girl in pink. I can even smell it! Once again, I humbly bow...

Magpie said...

See! You can give a dead mouse life. Be careful. They may hang you for being a witch. :)

secret agent woman said...

I could just see this scene, glance by glance.

Syd said...

Urban life with all the fumes, asphalt, dead eyed people and occasionally dead people and animals makes me glad to live surrounded by green and quiet.