Sunday, May 29, 2011

Filling Brick Hats



Filling Brick Hats


The city's been up all night
abraded, restless on her stucco sheets,
clockwork cogs whirring and grinding
the chaff along with the wheat.

Just a little thing fails,
the tooth loosens itself in the
splitting splayed hole
and the buckle unbuckles.

The crack starts small,
pencil line of a fantasy disaster,
unseen in an ignorance
that crumples the bridge.

Important in her concrete suit,
the city wakes up breathing,
forever one breath away
from not breathing.

Two tall hats higher than hills
detonate red in cyclopean explosion
filling with death instead of
water for horses.

If there is a place where
water can be dipped up in a hat,
there must be a place
for the horse to drink;

the city, the hat, the gesture, 
the head it covers, hollow
as comfort, vengeance, the conceit
of  a vacant control.



May 2011




Posted for   OneShootSunday   at the inimitable  OneStopPoetry 



Photo by Scott Wyden
Scott Wyden's website

28 comments:

  1. The personification of the city is quite brilliant, but your poem takes the idea a step further. This reminds me of nothing so much as 'Winter's Tale' by Mark Helprin, a fantasy set in New York and featuring a mythological horse...

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  2. Both build up and take down seem balanced in your lines. A pivotal passage,
    "Two tall hats higher than hills
    detonate red in cyclopean explosion
    filled by death instead of
    water for horses."
    Very powerful when considering the progression of imagery and representations leading up to it (crack, to a concrete suit, to images of destruction/reconstruction). Reminds me of both environmental and personal decay. Outstanding writing.

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  3. Not as solid as it seems, then? Well, even I know that the closer to terra firma a thing is, the more stable it is likely to be, and vicey versy.

    Kerry's book sound interesting, I shall have to look it up.

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  4. wicked word play hedge...the loose tooth stanza is brilliance...of course it takes me back to 9/11 and the explosion of those 2 hats and the feelings that erupted after...

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  5. I love the personification of the city. The tooth loosening is a great image!

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  6. The City lives through this poem. Lovely images...

    skyscrappers

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  7. I love the rhythm and flow of this piece. It pulls me along masterfully.
    ~Brenda

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  8. great imagery by personalising the environment and its weakness ...as vulnerable as any man ...thanks for sharing

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  9. It's difficult for me to comment on anything connected to this image, as the image itself has me hiss with distaste. Nothing but the sun in it beckons to me and the lack of nature has me wanting to gag. I wanted you to know that I did take the time to read, even with my revulsion at the image prompt.

    I like your efforts at truth vs facade here.

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  10. Wonderful use of personification with a tread of surreal menace and decay

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  11. This is wonderful. "Two tall hats" The towers?

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  12. I love the tooth loosening ... Brilliant.

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  13. There is something about the city - and its image, that suggests a certain ill-placed conceit - and you've caught it here. Excellent poem.

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  14. I love that your brain thinks this way...and then shares it with us. The tooth loosens is so telling and it makes me think of 9/11.
    Important in her concrete suit,
    the city wakes up breathing,
    forever one breath away
    from not breathing.
    Amazing.

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  15. Guess you left Shytown with a vengeance ... the City's magnitude here is reduced to a specie of abstract silliness, nothing gained in all it ventures. And the maiden shudders in her concrete corset. The Helprin novel Kerry mentions really is wonderful, though I don't think you intend much wonder for this city. -Brendan

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  16. love your take on the prompt hedge - the everything functions with high precision and then things start to fall apart - starting with a tiny detail...and i love it because it's so true. we're doing clockwork precise work and everything has to go by the second and if not...there's no room for making mistakes...excellent

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  17. This poem is a surprise as yours usually are (and as poems should be if they can), and I need some time to think about it. Helprin's book here connected is one of my all time favorites. In fact just days ago I was deciding to reread it, it's been too long.

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  18. Thanks all. And especially to Kerry, and all the seconds for the book mention. I will look for it.

    @Brendan: No, the city seldom fills me with wonder, but I find it more frightening than silly.

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  19. Very effective devise--your personification of the city. Your writing always shines. I'm so glad I don't live in a large metropolitan area.

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  20. Exceptional piece of writing ~ the imagery throughout stunning ~
    'the tooth loosens itself in the
    splitting splayed hole' ~
    'Just a little thing fails',
    'the crack starts small'
    for it all to fall apart but 'If there is a place where
    water can be dipped up in a hat,
    there must be a place
    for the horse to drink' ~
    'the conceit of a vacant control'
    ~ Brilliant ~ Lib @Libithina

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  21. Forever one breath away from not breathing. Great line, great commentary. Great work with the prompt. ENJOYED!!!!!!!!!1

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  22. As always, hedgewitch, a pure delight to read your writing.

    "If there is a place where
    water can be dipped up in a hat,
    there must be a place
    for the horse to drink;" - what an amazing stanza!

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  23. who is it and what is it- what is that is not a he or a she in that city of yours. Brilliant..

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  24. There is something for you at my blog. No, not a statue of Keef. Sorry!

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  25. Few have managed to write so effectively to this challenging prompt. I'm at last beginning to love the journey of discovery demanded by your words and always finding in your poems challenges to my intelligence and emotional maturity. Thank you. James.

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  26. Thank you, James. Your impressions mean a lot to me.I can't claim much credit for this one--it just came into my head and asked me to write it down, and the prompt helped shape it. I'm glad I'm not making your head hurt as much any more. ;-)

    @FB TY, and glad it's not a Keef statue--the shelves are so crowded already, what with the skulls and all.

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  27. Focused and brilliant: your choice of a hat and a horse! I've read Helprin's tale but I read your poem without echoes of it. I love how you funneled the city in minute details and as common as a brick hat and a horse (that one sees at Central Park pulling a carriage for romance or during parades when cops on horseback herd the crowd). Indeed, as you do, the city is transformed into a kind of un-reality that it does exude--Gotham, for one, does rise at certain angles, certain times. Never to miss, the unimaginable, the known yet unknown you unravel. Thanks hugely again for your mind that endlessly spins such lines, Joy!

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  28. Excellent, fully captures that 'urban bustle' feel.

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg