Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I AM more than a tourist, here (#NYC)

Photo: Mat McDermitt

ghosts of yesterday's trains, all bodies moving at once from stop to stop, are the wind in our hair, easy curl & hawk, as we walk the High Line which runs along the west above the rush of city streets. toeing rust brown tracks that divide concrete walkways, tracks reclaimed when faced with destruction to create green space---plants, trees, flowers that cut between brick steel & glass, where old meets new & chrome meets color.

below us, burrowed in studios, artists are busy in their own creating, re-imagining tin, bent steel bumpers, canvas, clay---with hammers, with paintbrushes & acetylyne torches---tools in the trade of recycling spin cycle junk no one wants but will pay high dollar for after & there are twenty or so people sitting in a little amphitheatre off the side of the above ground foot path---eating lunch, writing poems, sketching or napping in front of a thirty foot window overlooking---traffic.

a brown upholster suit man in a hat from the fifties lounges on a chaise, shoes off, wiggling his socked toes in the sun before the Hudson where water breaks on old wood pilings in white foam spray. benches rise ergonomically from the path & people sit, talk, play games on their phones or iPods, push strollers. i climb one just to jump off.

there is serenity in the loud silence of hundreds of voices singing to the tune of brake screech back beats, impatient cabbie's play horns, foot steps, foot steps, con-ver-sations. we walk---walk---walk through and around, points of light pausing before a particular tree, green leaves & buds thick before birth.

stroking fine hairs along the skin of these unborn children of spring, we breathe. in a week or three days, another will stop in this same place, press nose to petal, inhale & sigh---but we are full even in the anticipation and empty for the filling.

Continuing my NYC journey from last week. This is from our walk along the High Line, a part of NYC i had never seen, but would put it among my favorites now. Linking in with Poetry Jam.

59 comments:

mo.stoneskin said...

Simply sublime. "serenity in the loud silence" is my favourite phrase. You've painted a gorgeous picture there.

Sue said...

I've never been there, Brian (soon we go), but now it won't feel like my first time.

=)

Claudia said...

you made me smile with the curl and hawk and fight tears all at once..can still feel the freezing cold wind and the fine hairs of those buds...full even in the anticipation and empty for the filling...couldn't have said it better poet...smiles...and feeling kinda homesick now...

Helen said...

.... trashformations! I LOVE NY!

Magpie said...

What a wonderful experience and you bring us all along right with you.

Mama Zen said...

I love the scene you've painted, Brian.

happygirl said...

Such a cool area of the city. I think you captured the movement in this area. I <3 it too.

sage said...

I haven't been there either, but would like to check it out. I always liked the sound of the "High Line" but never associated it with NYC

Wander said...

I'll be back in a bit to give this a look see...Don't have anything new today, yet.
have a good day Brian

Wander

manicddaily said...

Sounds deliciously peaceful and urban at once. I for one am all for wiggling socked toes in the sunshine. K.

Anne said...

When you are out in the world you pay attention and see all the things most people miss. You seem to cherish them with your eyes and your ears and them share them with us so we can marvel at them with you.

Daydreamertoo said...

I never thought I would see New York described in such a lovely, romantic and poetic way as both you and Claudia have managed to do. I couldn't be doing with all that noise though. We hear maybe one siren every few days here, never any car horns, and I like it that way...lol The pace of life is so much slower here, calmer too but, you do paint a lovely picture. I loved all the artist descriptions of whatever tools and things they used to create their pieces of art.
A very lovely read.

Mary said...

Brian, I enjoyed this read greatly, as it was about an area of NYC that I am totally unfamiliar with and found it interesting that it was one of your favs. I love thinking about the artist studios, the green space, the serenity despite the cabs' horns. Thanks for linking to the "jam."

California Girl said...

Are you there now or reminiscing?

We loved the High Line architecture and green space and people walkways. It is a wonderful use of space no longer wasted.

Fred Rutherford said...

really nice depiction here. Love that NYC inspired a few pieces from you. I had a feeling it would though. Can't wait to see if you have anymore coming soon. All been very, very good. Thanks

Pat Hatt said...

Your Gawker powers were in full swing there
When you visited the NYC lair
Like how you painted the artist with their junk
Turning it into something that will make money come down with a plunk
Still not sure how though
But I guess my art skills just need to grow..haha

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

I like the New York of your words here Brian. Funny how you can be in a place FULL of people, bodies, voices, movement yet be alone.

flaubert said...

I love this, Brian. Every image is an absolute delight.

Pamela

Laurie Kolp said...

Brian- Such a wonderful capture of the city experience. I am amazed you could find serenity there... but I guess it is a matter of perspective. I was in awe most of the time, took most of it in alone (which made me a little cautious).

Nikki Rules said...

"there is serenity in the loud silence of hundreds of voices singing to the tune of brake screech back beats"

I would love to hear how YOU would read your stories, poems, and discover what specific beat it was intended for. Yet I have a hunch I may know...

Jackie Jordan said...

Your descriptions of your journey are really intense. Being a Cajun at heart, I've only visited the Big Apple once on a train. Details at a later date...

momto8 said...

you are a very good writer.
and yet we are all in this world together.

Gloria said...

Brian love do much this, love how uou really paint the scene,like we were there, nice. Gloria

Josh Hoyt said...

Very descriptive giving me the feeling that I am there. Great job!

Jenny Woolf said...

Fine piece of writing, and yes, that is definitely the High Line. It is one of the places in New York that stands out in my recent memory.

Christine said...

when I see pics of the concrete jungle, I know that it is alive because of the people that live there, I would love to visit there one day

Gene Pool Diva said...

Yummy. You have a way with words.

Li said...

I've been by it and under it but STILL haven't walked it. Hiking abandoned rail lines, whether maintained as proper paths or totally abandoned has always been a hobby of mine. It's fun to discover old spikes, come across forgotten bridges, the remains of old structures, etc. I enjoyed this virtual walk with you.

otin said...

When I was a kid, you could pee in the street in New York and no one would even have been shocked. Rudy really cleaned the city up and made it a family friendly place again.

emmett wheatfall said...

You painted a beautiful mural with words Brian, felt like I was there, in a place so different from where I live. It's great to be able to travel where you are, in your mind, and I don't have to buy a plane ticket to do so. Keep painting with words my man, keep painting with words.

Grace said...

Yes, I do remember those artists painting and selling their wares...nice eye for the details of the street. Your ending lines are wonderful to me ~

Loredana Donovan said...

Love "when old meets new and chrome meets color." Harmony between natural and urban elements :) So glad you're enjoying NYC. It is the place to be for artistic inspiration!

Slamdunk said...

I'd enjoy people watching with you Brian. You always observe what is meaningful.

Daniel said...

Good stuff. Definitely you are teaching me that there is always a reason to stop and look around. Be still and take a moment to breathe in the world.

Hannah said...

I especially love the last two paragraphs, Brian and the thought of someone standing right where you are/were enjoying the fruition of blooms. Really rich write!

Tara Miller said...

This sounds like an area of NYC I'd like to visit as well. Your statement about "loud silence" is such a great description of a relaxing day in the city. Very nice, love

Hilary said...

I've been to NYC a few times but never to the High Line. I have seen it depicted in a few photo blogs, semi-recently. It would be a must-see should I ever return. Lovely words, Brian. Gotta love the "loud silence."

Cinner said...

Hi Brian, I would imagine all those noises would be so common to most New Yorkers, the loud silence. Glad you got to see it and have added it to your favorites. beautiful as always.

Madhulika said...

Well.. i've never been there.. however, you painted the picture really well :)

Raven said...

This was a wonderful walk ... I am glad to be tagging along. You are giving me a great perspective. And anyway I am using this walk to get rid of some anger. Perhaps I'll put it on the path and someone will walk upon it. Someone heavy. ;)

Funny, I read Soul Dipper a bit ago and her words certainly addressed my needs or my "anger." And now this wonderful piece of writing is assisting me too. Thanks Brian.

Dick Jones said...

In its descriptive extravagance, there's a touch of the exhilarating urban rush and tumble of Kerouac here. It's evident too in the way in which the reader feels gathered up in the momentum of the experience.

Valerie said...

I like that New York inspired you to write this. I even enjoyed the noise when I was there.

Dave King said...

I love the scene you describe and the dead pan way you describe it, the voice that comes through so clearly and the humanity and humour always just below the surface.

sharmishtha said...

very vivid.

ladyfi said...

Oh, a wonderful description of the High Line walk. I didn't manage to fit this in when I was there in NY in Feb...but next time!

mrs mediocrity said...

This was amazing. I felt I was there, the whole time. You words painted just exactly the perfect picture.

moondustwriter said...

I'm so glad you had a good time - NYC and spring what could be better
hope it was restful
love the outward look in this piece

SueAnn said...

Thank you for the sights and sounds of the bustling city! I sure could use a NYC art studio fix!! Sigh
Hugs
SueAnn

PattiKen said...

It's amazing how you capture peace and silence in a city that seldom has either, especially in the daytime.

the walking man said...

I could be there but then if you step wrong you run into Bloomberg's Army which he says is the 9th largest in the world.

farmlady said...

That last stanza is a work of art, Brian.
You just rock sometimes.

Margaret said...

sketching or napping in front of a thirty foot window overlooking---traffic.

So NYC. My husband and daughter went to NYC this past weekend (F-S). Nice bonding time for them. I'll take me the hills of Virginia any day! :)

lifeisaroadtrip said...

Nice. You're the one with the 'hawk, right? :-)

Goofball said...

now I want to go for a stroll in NY! lovely image. Not often that you are so positive on a big city.

Sreeja said...

a very picturesque writing.....so lively..

adeeyoyo said...

Great word pictures, Brian. You bring the city to life and expose man's idiosyncrasies too.

Lydia said...

Walking the High Line is something I missed while there. But it's on my list now. That last paragraph brought a tear....

adan said...

nice! esp liked the second to last stanza,

"there is serenity in the loud silence of hundreds of voices singing to the tune of brake screech back beats, impatient cabbie's play horns, foot steps, foot steps, con-ver-sations. we walk---walk---walk...."

such a great time you guys had in the big city, glad ya'll shared some of it w/us ;-)

william said...

as always reading your work makes us all think we have either been there or about to visit, thats how good your descriptions are :)