jolie laide

jolie laide

I started this when I lived in Brooklyn and struggled for grace in a city that grants moments of beauty and ugliness breathtakingly close to one another. Now I live in a place where things are a different kind of ugly and the beauty is pedestrian. I struggle with that.


Something has died in the back yard. In the wrecked concrete rubble that is the palette for a future garden, something is lying motionless on a bed of dead weeds against the back wall. It is gray and white, either fur or feathers, a rat or a pigeon, I can’t tell. But I know it is dead, there is a veil of flies on it, an undulating lace of black wings that rises occasionally then settles back down.

I go for my long run on Sunday, a time when I can do this one simple thing, fight gravity, friction, my own limitations. As my head spins away, my weight settles into my hips for the long slog, I watch the light change on the faces of the buildings downtown. It’s my own Rothko Chapel, now a brilliant reflection that stabs my eye, now a muted glimmer as the day fades. The clocktower, that landmark in my vista, has been sold to developers to turn into fancy condos. Now it has a grid of blue scaffolding over its face, its own veil of flies.


Blogger michel said...

your own private rothko chapel...mmmm.

you draw beautiful parrallels.


3:30 PM  
Blogger ttractor said...

I was thinking of you when I was thinking about this!

9:20 PM  
Blogger remue-menage said...

I like the relationship developed between the dead animal & the clock tower

the cruel passage of time - the dance of life & death

8:40 PM  
Blogger ttractor said...

rm, I know the clocktower will be reborn as something else, but it does feel like a curtain drawn over this act of its life. For that I am a bit saddened. Cruel passage of time...I keep playing Gillian Welch's Time the Revelator over and over, I am looking for an answer.

9:54 PM  
Blogger Dr. S said...

I love that song.

5:18 PM  
Blogger ttractor said...


9:20 PM  
Blogger cherrydragonut said...

"A veil of flies." How beautiful. How ugly. Why does death have to be ugly? I suppose it is when we love the decaying remains and wish it was alive again. But compost can be a nourishing birthground. That's why I think Jews bury their dead in pine boxes sometimes with holes punched in the bottom. The box decomposes along with the body. It all goes back to the earth. But when my mother passed away my brother found himself coffin shopping. The box sellers would say stuff like do you want to put your loved one in this box? Or that one? Kind of like buying a new car. He ended up buying one online. It was alot cheaper. I would have opted pine, a plain pine box. He would never put anyone such a crate, especially someone he cared about, especially when his heart was wretching. Sometimes it takes years for me to accept a change in a relationship, but whether I am pining away or not it is still an opportunity, a breeding ground for new growth. And sometimes when boundaries change and roles/role-play change it helps to accept it and add on, to move ahead, to be grateful for what you do have with people, unless of course the jealousy is so retched that you need to take a break. Breaks are fine with me. They give a time and space to accept, to forget, to heal. Pain alleviates bordom but so does fun whatever that is. Sometimes having fun is easy and sometimes I don't even know what fun is. Bordom and stagnation in ones inner life can be very very laide. But stillness and freting, a fluttering bird, jolie, fluttering flys, pigeons no way.

2:04 PM  

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