April 15, 2011

the night sky is a jewelry store window

Angelo Filomeno, Spring Shower, 2005

-- by Veronica Forrest-Thomson

Love is the oldest camera.
Snap me with your eyes.
Wearied with myself I want
a picture that simplifies.

Likeness is not important
provided the traits cohere.
Dissolve doubts and contradictions
to leave the exposure clear.

Erase shadows and negative
that confuse the tired sight.
Develop as conclusive definition
a pattern of black and white.

For I wish to see me reassembled
in that dark-room of your mind.

-- by Campbell McGrath

Late dinner at a dark café blocks from Rittenhouse Square, iron pots of mussels and Belgian beer and a waiter eager to snag the check and clock out. Such are the summer pleasures of his work—winding down to a glass of red wine, catching the windowed reflection of a girl as she passes, counting the take upon the bar, thick roll of ones and fives, palming the odd ten smooth against zinc and polished walnut, the comforting dinginess of American money, color of August weeds in a yard of rusting appliances, hard cash, its halo of authority, the hands’ delight in its fricatives and gutturals, its growl, its purr, gruff demotic against the jargon of paychecks on automatic deposit with social security deductions and prepaid dental, realism vs. abstraction, a gallery of modest canvasses, more landscapes than still lifes, steeples of the old city with masts and spars, a vista of water meadows with fishermen hauling nets in the distance, women collecting shellfish in wicker panniers. It yields enough to sustain us, after all, the ocean of the past. We’ve paid. The waiter pockets his final tip and throws down his apron and walks out into the warm night of dogs splashing in public fountains and couples on benches beneath blossoming trees and soon enough we follow, arm in arm across the cobblestones, looking for a yellow cab to carry us into the future.

Coming Up For Air
-- by Gerard Malanga

for Edie Sedgwick

The face that grows out from the magazine
Covers some simple indication
That long earrings are coming
Back into fashion
At the parties that were
Beginning over
Night in the city
Limits, and the surprise
Package of whatever explains the false
Hood of logic to keep us
Guessing at the eventual sun
Rise, brings me home
In the film of our favorite soft
Drink starring you.


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