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.


I am waiting for the downtown local. At some stations the express track is sunken below, or higher up, or on another platform entirely. Here, it is a scant few feet away.

When the express train pulls through the station here, it is not the usual scream of silver and flash. There is construction further down the line, so the train goes slowly, a trundling exhibition of commuters moving by.

I can look at each packed car. Watch her leisurely yawn, see him flip his newspaper. Sometimes our eyes meet, before the distance and darkness intervenes.


Anonymous famjaztique said...

So, when is your book due out? I mean, you already have your theme. Crikey, just take this blog to your nearest agent and I'll bet you're signing a deal in no time.

What's the hold up?

10:27 PM  
Blogger remue-menage said...

the poetry of the NYC metro

I've been re-reading Ezra Pound's spare verse - I'm drawn to him because of his genius, because of his madness

here is an apropos example:

-In A Station Of The Metro-

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

11:09 PM  
Blogger cherrydragonut said...

I feel separated by distance and darkness sometimes when I am in the company of my closest friend. We are together and I am alone. It's amazing how the subways are part of my life, how often we ride them, how we peak out from our private worlds to acknowldge a moment with another. I suppose there is an anatomy to it as it connects me in motion. And of course there is the filth, the wait, the crowded launch pad, the rats, the homeless, the vendors, the street artists, the beggers, the leaks, the construction, the ads, the tiles, the columns, the platform, the garbage, the maps, the newstands, the benches, the noise deafening and scretchy with sparks flying or enveloping and rhythmic.....our portal to the universe, an insignificant reoccurrance, a constant.

11:19 AM  
Blogger cherrydragonut said...

Oh yeah. I forgot to mention the bars and the gates and the chains and the locks and the turnstyles and the token booths and the metrocard machines, and the steps and the escalators. I forgot to mention that too. But most of all there are the people, hundreds of them, thousands even, millions dressed for work or play, formal or casual, designer or vintage, young and old, children and teenagers, mothers and babies and nannies and carriages, men and women, alone and together reading papers, or books, listening to headsets, sleeping, talking, laughing, breathing, it's all there everyday all day long and all night, New York's mosaic face all on the train and all headed somewhere. And somehow it all makes sense and we're victimized by it and we make it what it is somehow we are in it together. Yesterday a young girl about highschool age asked me how to get to 42nd Street, to the Port Authority. She was so beautiful and young and not too familiar with the station. I felt sisterly toward her. I wanted to protect her when suddenly an older man who seemed tough interjected directions. She turned her interest on to him and I walked away feeling like I had just thrown my kid sister out to the wolves, but she'll learn. We all did.

11:41 AM  
Blogger ttractor said...

R-M, that is fantastic, thank you!

Froufamjen, I will hustle my junk to the nearest, friendly publisher when you do the same with your photos! So there! (um, can anyone point me to a nearby, friendly publisher? does one exist?)

3:43 PM  

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