Since we are all staying home, sheltering in place, social distancing, quarantining or practicing PAUSE, I decided to start posting some thoughts on Deadline-Gowanus which has gone a bit fallow of late.
Here’s my thought for today.
I know the advice has been mixed on wearing masks and we are supposed to save n95 and surgical masks for health care workers but there are home-made options. (And yes I know my nose is not covered.) Took a walk in #gowanus today with my pink bandana mask and it wasn’t easy – felt very self-conscious in the epicenter of hip. But there are four good reasons to do this according to things I have read: 1)it does protect against some airborne particles 2) it signals to the world this is serious 3) it makes people distance from you because they think you might be infected or see you take it seriously (i can attest to this from my walk – people stepped aside!) 4) it stops you from touching your face while you are out running errands. So don’t be embarrassed. #showmeyourmask
Fiery triceratops skulls know winter is coming By bulky bureaucratic beige-tastic blandity
Rope-bridged between these I sway Asphalt planks Cables twined of mugwort Seaside goldenrod Parole officers pa troll below
Permanently bathed in red light I don’t need sign blare emphatic To tell me Through growl-whir chants Of each turnaround car Stalked by black and white orbs of the state This is the END
Here on 2nd Between 5th and 4th Though there is no 4th Only a Basin to guide me And it took just a second or three Amidst milkweed bothered bottles To figure out if this was all a ruse
This feral pocket where our CSOs Avalanche when gods weep uncontrollably Human waste heading for herons And hoping for the filtrations Of ribbed mussels
This rife patch where old Belgian block Collapses, Knieveling out over the brink Facing down a hangry Gowanus And slowly losing the encounter Bulkheads still blowing out As if the made land’s Belt could not handle All these meals of carcinogens With time for dessert
Here, rope-bridged, I sit Slung, musing Caught between creek-side tulip tree Mùxulhemënshi Giver of Lenape canoes And concrete blocks The Sleeper’s toys Where I first joined the Dredgers In exile, as Gary paddle-boarded by Red, toxic-bottomed canoes Locked by a box that advised CHILLAX
On a rope bridge anchored By a sinking, musket-sparing Marylander hand Disappearing into muck Redcoat shot pelting the calamus As Washington weeps on the hill And a billionaire mother trying to escape Through great hollow flooding garages Come down from the 35th floor Her children wailing In thrice-rezoned future As hurricane surge breaches The great mouth gate One final time
- Here I muse at the cast Sewer cover constellations And know at last What the sign means
I lay rope-bridged Looking for the few stars And LaGuardia-bound Meteors through Gas-drip willow leaves In a trick garden Native but not native Chemicals creeping up With full aroma Here between my Ankle-bracelet fitting And the incessant beeping Of my 1st or 3rd Midnight salt pickup Between the dredger Lifejacketed on his barge And the secretary Whose shawl remains In fluorescent rain Black through the windows High overhead Here between full-leafed Trees of heaven and Their dying branches Between chained S.S. Oops And sad coffee break benches Between sleeping buses Tourist red and Orthodox yellow And a glacial outwash plain Between tugboats bulling Between belabored barges And a kid on his bike With a camera And nothing better to do Egret-rouser Gosling-noticer Laugher-at-fences Hearer-of-ever-rushing-waters-somewhere-deep-below Absorber-of-cyan-glow-of-great-towering-future-tide-clock Between heavy June twilight And the hard all-sumac rise Of a February dawn
All these rope bridges I cross at once, at risk Intersect in me Radiate out from me Undulates of some strange, time-spanning Extremophile tide Rays working out slowly From some dark Gowanus sun
I hold these rusted green railings And walk across In all directions