jolie laide: March: Nowhere, Mass

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.


March: Nowhere, Mass

It’s a room in a hotel off the highway and I am looking out the picture window like it is a huge tv. It is not unlikely for me to get gone for a day, to go pick blueberries, to go throw snowballs at the dogs, to go look at art. The reason I am here is something like that, to build or make joy or learn. But where I actually am feels like such a contrast to that. The buildings here, they have no relationship to the land, they are acontextual, like if they sneezed they would slide right off the low hills. On the third story I am even with the off-ramp, sluiced with the homeward slowed, red taillights blinking crawl and go. Some careful planner has engineered a discreet nod to the wildness that preceded all this, put a drainage pipe under the roadway so the creek can still run its course, and now it is emptying into a slough spread at my feet. There are stands of winter dead phragmites with their solemn beards, massed tumbles of briars, greyed grass waiting for spring. I could say I am not here for this, this incidental vista forgotten in the elbow of progress, but in fact I am, because here comes one tiny perfect bird hoping his way through this tossed and beaten landscape.


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