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.


He is sitting in the corner of the car with a red suitcase, coming or going, I can’t tell. A blue paper cup of cheap diner coffee and he is in a nodding groggy twilight, bent nearly double, hand fumbling the brim of a baseball cap lower on his face. He is drunk-sleeping and slipping away and the coffee falls to the floor. It was a full cup, and the smell of milky sweet fills this corner of the train. His face fills with embarrassment too, as other riders lift their feet to avoid the sticky wash, but soon enough he won’t remember it at all.

All last week a crew was outside the park gates, removing a tree that had been growing through the wrought iron for fifty or sixty years. They were disassembling slowly, taking off the arcing branches, gradually de-limbing, then cutting the trunk down in rounds with a chain saw. Now they are to the part that has merged with the fence, now they must continue by hand, now a necessary intimacy. He has selected his weapon, an axe, and I watch his shoulders move, watch tiny slivers fall away, the tree steadily dwindling even further.

Today I am missing the perfectly imperfect, the soft hand with the rough nail, the kiss that unmakes and makes me, both. There is no time for this. I lay my tools out on my desk, this is what there is today. This is all there is.


Blogger oraclemonkey said...

this is all we know, but it's not all there is by any stretch.

we aren't aware of and can't see the majority of what's happening around us. large compelling forms bear down on us like interstate trucks and we get run over and then we bliss out and might retain just enough composure to wonder what the rest of that was all about.

the fixed idea that this is all there is is why people kill themselves. they fabricate some blinders wear them around the clock and at some point their perspective snaps shut and they go. i understand that none of this was your point.

this is no attempt on my part to be pedantic. i am feeling a bit like a tuned rig on an open night road in wild country . . . and still more than a couple of state lines out.

1:49 PM  
Blogger ttractor said...

so, then, you would be the truck bearing down on me? a joy smack would be good right about now.

I'm glad you seem to be getting a little time to breathe, although perhaps with more added to consider than you thought.

Today there is too much work for me to get done, too much to allow me to let my head spin out, no passing of my hands over the velvet curtains that seperate what I see and what I feel. Tomorrow will be better. Maybe even later on today will be better.

2:04 PM  
Blogger oraclemonkey said...

yeah; that.

9:23 PM  

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