Tuesday, April 10, 2012

OpenLinkNight: Riddles to Answers & Riddles (#NYC)




It is ugli fruit,
but only in comparison

A man with a machete
size knife, carves the rind
in quarters,
juice pooling beneath
and across his sticky fingers
that ply the pulp heart from within,
sharing a word and taste
with those on the sidewalk
from his cardboard box pulpit

taste & see, he smiles as he works
and that is enough, in the moment
we pass

Following the cryptic napkin
map, drawn by the Chinese man
who, even now, stands on the corner,
waving his arm & calling a-cross the crowd,
having left all his other customers
to ensure we make it
to the subway

The only strangers here
are those silent
in their own world

taste and see, i say
folding these last memories
of the city into my pocket
along with the map

To one day follow back.

OpenLinkNight @ dVerse Poets - time once more to get all poetic. Joe Hesch is tending the bar tonight, so come ready to sling some verse. Doors open at 3 pm EST.

The closing moments of my visit to New York a little over a week ago. In her OpenLinkNight poem today, Claudia is writing about the same moments, so check hers out as well.

127 comments:

Stephanie said...

"Following the cryptic dragon Map.." Love it!

MorningAJ said...

Taste and see. That's good advice for life.

Heaven said...

There are moments, we want to taste and keep in our pockets forever. Some of those fruits, native to the land, stays in our tongue...someday, hopefully we can taste it again.

oceangirl said...

I could cry if I want to reading the last stanza:)

Harvee said...

I want some ugli fruit! At first I thought you were in Jamaica, home of the ugli fruit! Sounds like a very interesting trip! Love your poetry.

lifeisaroadtrip said...

"folding these last memories
of the city into my pocket
along with the map"

Suh-weet!

ds said...

Ah, the magic of Chinatown. Sounds like you had a wonderful visit to the Big Apple. "Taste and see"--exactly! Thank you.

Pat Hatt said...

Always nice to find a helpful guy
Even if upon first try
You can't figure out the map
To get back to the subway gap
But guess you got there
Since you are back at your lair
Must have been quite the experience too
Even if you had no clue..haha

flaubert said...

I felt like I was right beside you, Brian. You paint a very clear picture here. Nice.

Pamela

Heather said...

ooooh, LOVE this - yes, do come back! I like the map on the napkin reference!

Laurie Kolp said...

taste and see, i say
folding these last memories
of the city into my pocket
along with the map

To one day follow back

... Taste and See brings to mind one of my favorite hymnals. When my children received their 1st communion, they sang this to us, with hand motions. It brings tears to the eyes... a memory to keep in my pocket like yours of NYC.

Betsy said...

lovely memories

sweet little man

Claudia said...

the bad thing was that i couldn't taste that ugli fruit because we were in such a hurry...ha..and be careful with that napkin...who knows what kind of dragon spell the chinese guy wove into those ink blue lines...smiles

ayala said...

Love these lines...taste and see, i say
folding these last memories
of the city into my pocket
along with the map :) I feel like I was there.

Mama Zen said...

"The only strangers here
are those silent
in their own world"

I really like that.

hedgewitch said...

A whole philosophy of life in this one, and on that napkin--I hope there was at least one haiku on it somewhere, though I guess then it would have to be more from a sushi vendor. You know I'm not much of a city person, but this poem walks a few miles above those ugli streets for me.

Gloria said...

love this Brian!

James Rainsford said...

Ah Brian, This is so evocative. It makes me want to book my flight and once again visit your intriguing city. Great write, my friend.

happygirl said...

"folding these last memories
of the city into my pocket" I <3 Chinatown in NYC so much. LOVE me a knock-off bag. I have a funny story about this part of town. Now you're making me think I should write it down. Thank you so much for the NYC series. It tugs at my heart.

kaykuala said...

Brian,
Very real emotive details seen here upon leaving. I remember similar feelings upon 'folding the map' and with the hope of coming back. Great!

Hank

Shawna said...

I love "ugli fruit." Awesome. :)

Shawna
rosemarymint.wordpress.com

Myrna R. said...

Already read Claudia's entry. I wondered about how/why both of you wrote about China Town. But now, I actually feel like going back. You made me remember the excitement of the streets, my frowns at some of the food, and my enjoyment of most of it. Nice Brian.

Goat said...

THis one belongs in the same book as the last one. Outstanding images--a map on a napkin, a man both fearful and sticky. These poems make you care about these things. We want to see them again. Find out what is happening while we were away....

Daniel said...

I love your attitude here.

Magpie said...

I agree with Tracy. That is my favorite line. There is so much imagery in this one. I felt jostled and assaulted by the smells and sounds as I read.

JJ Roa Rodriguez said...

Nice one Sir!.. Thanks for taking me back...

JJRod'z

Mary said...

What a memorable final experience in New York City! Love all of your impressions recorded, Brian.

Sue said...

A perfect ending to your NY trip collection.
And so much texture throughout.

=)

Brian Miller said...

ah jamaica is home of the ugli fruit and a place i have yet to visit...

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

"taste and see, i say
folding these last memories
of the city into my pocket
along with the map
To one day follow back."


Hi! Brian...
What a very descriptive poem you have written...you have captured [very-well] the feel, and the mood Of [C]china-town...Tks, for sharing!

deedee ;-D

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Wonderful and alive - this is vibrant writing. Makes me wish I was there.

♫♪♥PhilO♥♪♫ said...

Any great post from you :)

Manicddaily said...

My comment lost! Unlike you guys! What I said, basically, was that this has a great sweetness to it; I especially like pulpy pulpit!

I used to live on Mott....

Geraldine said...

taste and see...yes, a good way to live! really enjoyed this short journey...

chromapoesy.com said...

Another wonderful walk and rumination from you, the streets came alive.

Tara Miller said...

You hold great memories from your trip - I'm glad. Thanks for giving us a glimpse of your adventures love.

Uneven Stephen said...

I'm digging all these recent NY poems fro the dVerse gang. Really makes me want to take a trip there. Great poem, Brian.

Anonymous said...

Love the repeat of "taste and see" and the "card board box pulpit"....reminds me of the Bible verse "taste and see that the Lord is good" and I can envision a street preacher proclaiming those words...

Nice vignette of a "moment in time" and sounds like a good time for sure...

r.m. @ newviewfromhere.wordpress.com

Daydreamertoo said...

Love these snapshots of yours and Claudia's time spent in NYC. This is so real, so poetic, including the little napkin map, a treasure all of its own, for memories.
Lovely :)

Gwen Dubeau said...

Great write and New York is a place for many souls..drifters and executive rubbing elbows on the same streets. Liked this a lot!

Sub-Radar-Mike said...

There's something about following a map drawn on a napkin through an urban environment that just screams adventure...

Steve King said...

What great imagination...and a map of the real world you hold in your mind as well as your hand. Nice work.

mrs mediocrity said...

"The only strangers here
are those silent
in their own world"

this is an echo that played throughout the whole poem...

i haven't seen ugli fruit in a while... you are so good at weaving humanity in and out of your poems, in all the best ways possible.

Ginny Brannan said...

Such a fascinating place, Chinatown, south of Canal Street--a different world right in the middle of NYC. I remember my first visit--I also found the food interesting--especially the displays in the shop windows. Love this story that you have woven, Brian!

Beachanny said...

Brian and Claudia - like Hansel and Gretel laying tracks to find their way back. I know the city - I'd like to meet you there - Canal, Mulberry Street? Lovely pair of poems from you two I read back to back!

pamela prince said...

"Folding these last memories
of the city into my pocket" so good to read... definitely will be back to read more.

Aaron Kent said...

Loved reading Clauida nad your poems about the same experience. After numerous re-reads of both, I couldn't pick one over the other!

Linda Kruschke said...

I spent two weeks in Manhattan a few summers ago, and this wonderful poem brought back the sights and smells, the experience of that city. I love the ugli fruit vendor. :) Peace, Linda

Adura Ojo said...

Taste and see, lol. Love the way you spun this, Brian. Well told indeed. Folding memories into the pocket...nice touch.

amyjosprague said...

Love love love the imagery, like I was right there with you. I could hear and feel the pace. Excellent!

Marbles in My Pocket said...

You always give us a taste of the city, and it is always sooo good! Excellent write here, Brian!

Sue Judd said...

Love the imagery here, and the last stanza is very emotive.

Quotes,Photos and a little Poetry said...

Following the cryptic napkin
map,
I like this line, and the mood that felt like a china town.A place I'd like to go back visit in my own home town. thanks for taking me back

Zouxzoux said...

I love how yours and Claudia's poems compliment each other. Sounds like you had a fine time and thanks for letting us have a virtual viewing.

Matthew Quinn said...

This is one of the best poems I've read by you. Great job!

chris said...

Oooh, I love this one! More, please!

Wolfsrosebud said...

like a picture... a memory is revisited... loved the feeling here

Heaven said...

There are some journeys that we would like to taste and keep in our pocket. Like the ugli fruit, it reminds us of the native land's unique taste. Hopefully someday we can taste it again.

Thanks for all the support and encouragement Brian. Cheers ~

drybottomgirl said...

Awesome! Alex, my oldest loved New York last summer when he was there for nine days. I will share this with him. Like the profile pic as well. Hope all is well with you and yours...

Anthony Desmond said...

I want some a that ugli fruit man send one my way, okay?

Kat_RN said...

Evocative, I'm jealous of your trip to NYC.
Kat

PattiKen said...

I like this, and feel like I've lived it. I'm glad you found as I did that, in that city full of "rude New Yorkers," it's much easier to find a friendly, helpful one.

Aidz Giannini said...

Great to see a similar vision through your eyes, Claudias write was part 1 (?) yrs showed another picture, great

Susie Clevenger said...

Taste and see...to take in the city with an appetite. May those folded memories take you back time and time again.

FrankandMary said...

Perhaps there is a master puppeteer above him, looking for some slavish disciples. ~Mary

Joan Barrett Roberts said...

I have never traveled to NYC always wanted to -- your poetry is descriptive and allows the reader to enter into your story easily -- thank you for encouraging all of us who might hope to write!

Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

taste and see, i say
folding these last memories
of the city into my pocket
along with the map

To one day follow back.

Just lovely imagery--fold a map, a memory--really nice!

signed...bkm said...

Nice love the whole process and memory folded and held on a napkin ..well done...love both yours and Claudia's take on the moment...bkm

colleen said...

Nice snapshot of a busy market place. It's off but I just heard of ugli fruit yesterday and now again today.

Ravenblack said...

Love how you and Claudia are chronicling touring NYC through your poems.

emma said...

Wonderful capture of a moment- it takes me right to the streets, at least the streets of NYC as I imagine them. Always wonderful to have those little bits to remember the days by when the memories start to fade.

poemsofhateandhope said...

Stunning capture of your time in NYC. The emotion you write is actually quite intangible- its that kind of feeling when you visit somewhere like NYC- and you can't quite put into words the sights, the sounds, the overwhelming all encompassing visual and sensory overload- but you do here- and you tell it with great fondness

Cindee Snider Re said...

Brian, I love your poetry. You always take me where I didn't expect to go, and I leave filled and thinking and wanting still more. This poem is no exception. I LOVE the ending! It is...just exactly right.

Fred Rutherford said...

wow, Brian, you just keep adding really nice pieces to your NYC collection. I love it because Claudia is doing the same thing over at her place. Just love how much you both took away from your trip to the city. I don't think I've ever had ugli fruit, but I've seen it, in that section of the supermarket with the cool but unusual and fruit a bit beyond my budgetary allotment. Love the metaphor here and how you introduced it so early on. Anyhow, great job. Thanks

Mary Mansfield said...

Hard to come up with something original so far down the list...wonderful written poem about the need to dive right in and take a big bite out of life!

mairmusic said...

Lovely snapshot of humanity-- I will check Claudia's as well, thanks for the tip.

Crack You Whip said...

This was beautiful writing. I loved every line...

Ryan Taylor said...

fuckingnyc

Victoria said...

Ahha! The Chinese napkin makes another showing. You've created a terrific sense of place and the people who inhabit it, Brian.

zongrik said...

The only strangers here
are those silent
in their own world

what a great way to say how busy and how much is going on here

theborgpoet said...

Gritty...enjoyable piece!

muzzleflashing.com said...

Very cool. Love the map on the napkin - great imagery!

Siggi in Downeast Maine said...

Lots of wonderful images to ponder.
Thank you...I enjoyed this a lot.
Peace
Siggi in Downeast Maine

henry clemmons said...

I missed out on the Chineese memo today, but I did eat chineese today. Excellent write again. NYC rocks.

Lolamouse said...

Love all of the sights, sounds, and colors of your poetry. My submission is about NYC as well! We could have run into each other!

Semaphore said...

Wow! Just a coincidence, but I was eating an orange as I was reading this, quartered, then those quarters halved yet again, by a Chinese butcher knife with a curved, sharp edge. Definitely not the fruit you were thinking of, but the taste of it whule reading brought home the picture you were painting, the tang - as it were - of the scene.

Kamana said...

taste and see... because unless you do, you never know!

Cathryn Louis said...

I could taste and see the city. I want to go back :)

Patricia said...

"I'll take you there"... you made me think of that song...
thanks for taking us along on this beautiful journey. =)

beccagivens said...

wonderful capture of the adventures and gifts of the city ... thank you for sharing. your style keeps the reader engaged from the beginning to the end. :)

wayside word garden said...

Love how you and Claudia are both sharing from the same trip... what a very nice man, making sure you were headed in the right direction.
Love the refrain of "taste and see"... nice sense of place... like the sticky fingers, juice pooling, the cryptic napkin... thanks for taking us there.

Blue Flute said...

I was about to say... you and Claudia both writing about Chinese napkins... but then I read the note. Glad to see NYC gave you a lot of inspiration. Places like Chinatown really do have a vibrancy that could give you plenty of material.

Hannah said...

juice pooling beneath
and across his sticky fingers
that ply the pulp heart from within,


Love the tangible detail of this. Very nice writing Brian!

irene said...

I'm unsure what's ugli fruit, and scrolled through your comments hoping to find an answer, and no one said what is. So I feel duh. But your recreation of the Chinatown scene is vivid, yes. I like it.

Cressida de Nova said...

Nice flow and images with an added touch of regret at leaving NYC. Lovely poem and well crafted.

jackie dick said...

Fine write, Brian...folding last memories of the city into my pocket along with the map...to find your way back, I hope Brian.:)

mo.stoneskin said...

Brilliant but I have to say it was the "cryptic napkin map" that I loved best. I would like a cryptic napkin map myself.

rumoursofrhyme said...

"The only strangers here
are those silent
in their own world"

That is so true for so many of us, silently living in our own worlds, oblivious to the love, life, joy and wonder that is going on all around us.

I love the final stanza too, but so many others have commented on it.

PS - Thanks for dropping by my place so often.

Dave King said...

The only strangers here
are those silent
in their own world

How often is this not the case? A compelling poem with a new thought in almost every line.

California Girl said...

A well crafted slice of life. I want to taste that fruit & follow you down the subway steps.

John (@bookdreamer) said...

Evocative images of the kindness of strangers

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

:) Cool moment

Pauline said...

you prove, over and over, that any subject makes good poetry

Elizabeth Young said...

The last stanza of this piece rises like a balloon for me out of the kindness of the man showing you the way to the subway.

SueAnn Lommler said...

What a special view of the sights and sounds of the city. Even the taste!!!! Love it
Hugs
SueAnn

kez said...

Loved it could almost taste it on my lips if place could have a taste ...thanks for sharing x

the walking man said...

The city is an infection isn't it?

sage said...

I've enjoyed your NYC poems!

janaki nagaraj said...

Folding the last memories of the city into my pocket...this is wonderful.

janaki nagaraj said...

Folding the last memories of the city into my pocket...this is wonderful.

Teresa said...

What a great poem. There are so many ways to experience a place~taste and see! Very nice.

Brian Miller said...

it is an infection WM and one i def dont want the cure for...smiles...

Arron Shilling said...

pushing all the right buttons brian... i think i'm still seeing some connection with Claudias work - i think the 2 poems of this week work great together - V.complementry; yous 2 vibe off each other so well - and your trip is still paying dividends;

awesome ending, beginning - it has such a readable quality1

cheers brian - all the best :)

Charles Miller said...

That fresh fruit carved up right in front of you is like a language itself. Of course, in that human mass one must learn to speak with every inch of body you have and there's a gestural dictionary I wish someone would compile one day of what they are in NYC.

It's also interesting to see how you and Claudia are handling the same theme. The map got into your pocket it seems, so if she might ask for it back! :) As it is, the map that serves as the direction to and from this land of Oz that is NYC, comes through with all of its lush flavor and embodied everyday exotica that makes it what it is in your poem. Excellent, as always.

Jannie Funster said...

It IS an amazing place! Can't wait until I'm next there. Tho I will have to wait. meantime, I'm there in my mind.

darkangelwrites said...

He probably didn't know it, but he captured and now you have, my theme song. "Taste and see."

beckykilsby said...

ha! That's what I came for..

Following the cryptic napkin
map,

Thank you.. :)

Goofball said...

I am usually silent in my own world in the city.

Rachel Hoyt said...

Taste and see. I like that. I'd definitely take the map. :)

Josh Hoyt said...

I like how the strangers are those who don't participate and speak up.

Natasha Head said...

The only strangers here
are those silent
in their own world....and that is why I could live anywhere...I'm a stranger no matter where I go and quite content within my self-imposed confinement ;) Love this look at the city...and have plans on seeing her up close...stay tuned! ;)

joanna said...

loving these little moment-snatches of yours from the city... so appropriate to the inundation of senses
which
she
is.

sheila said...

sounds a bit scary

sharmishtha said...

the final paragraph is fantastic. what a way to describe parting.

Syd said...

I am sure that you will find your way back.

poeticlicensee said...

New York, New York in your pocket...

Ajlounyinjurylaw said...

Great poem for a fine place.