Monday, February 05, 2007


City blocks
Lights along the river
Ribbons of white and red
Like blood
Pumping in
Trickling out
I feel the patient dying
In the pavement

I know the woman
Standing over there
She doesn't know me
But thinks she does
I'll introduce you

Worm beneath the sewers
The conduits
There are hairpins in the latrines
Streets over streets
Over streets
I'm down there
Twisted with the victims
of yellow fever

Someone must have
Uncovered me

(Picture: The southern view from my office building, 32nd floor.)


Shesawriter said...

What a FANTASTIC pic, and the prose goes so well.

Susan Abraham said...

Hi Jason, why do I see magic & colour despite the skilled dark descriptions and sober mood.
It must be the pic. The lamplights that reminded me of shiny wet pavements. And then I was lost to all reason. :-)

apprentice said...

What a view to have, I'd never sleep.

Interesting ideas in this, somehow I think the company might even be more graphic.

Terri said...

That's quite a view you have there. I'm not sure why, exactly, but I like this poem a lot. Perhaps it's the down-to-earth quality.
Here's a question: how long does it take you to write these poems?

kate said...

wow, now i'm really jealous.

anna said...

Fantastic photo Jason. poem is a little creepy but excellent.
good stuff!

Eileen said...

Love the picture too- I also would be interested in hearing about your process- how long you work on projects- if you plot them out or go with the flow.

mermaid said...

Sometimes I wonder how a lover of nature, of open space feels trapped inside The City.

Now I know.

Anonymous said...

Shesawriter, the trick was taking the picture in an empty conference room without people thinking I'd lost my mind. ;)

Susan, I agree that the picture and poem have a strange relationship, not altogether complementary.

Apprentice, just to be clear, I've added that this is the view from the floor of my office. My home is suburban. :)

Terri, a free form poem like this one takes me about 10 minutes for a first draft, then about another 30 minutes to polish. When I choose to write a poem, I'm usually pouring out some emotion I'm having right at that moment, so it's not too hard to draft. The structured poems take much longer.

Kate, I like working in the city, but then going home to the suburbs. I like going to the forests even more. I guess I get a taste of everything that way.

Anna, thanks! Yeah, it's a bit creepy this time. ;)

Eileen, I answered about the free form poems above. The prose pieces take a bit longer, maybe half an hour to 45 minutes to draft, then another equal amount of time to polish. I never plot the prose pieces ahead of time. I let it come moment by moment and section by section, even with the serial ones.

Mermaid, very astute, my friend, as usual. :)

Angela said...

My Godness all I want to do is run away to a deep forest and never come back!!!!

Jaye Wells said...

I really like this one, Jason. You continually amaze me with your range.

ivan said...

I'm with Tanya and Jaye.

Fantastic poem.

Anonymous said...

Jaye, so nice of you to say! I do love experimenting.

Ivan, thanks! I wrote it one evening on the train as we passed through the city.

Marie said...

Great poem.