The L Joint

On the roof of this five-story building is a forest of tar, softening in the summer, seeping rain in the winter. Pigeons roost there. Not in the tar itself, but in little areas where vents pop out above the forest. There is one larger vent, a two feet wide tube, that makes its way straight down to the bottom floor. At the bottom floor there’s an L joint, where the tube zig zags before turning back down, making its final destination, the extinct steam broiler in the basement. That L joint is exposed in a retail shop.  

Occasionally, pigeons fall down the vent from the roof, even if the top of the vent is roofed and fenced to stop them from roosting. Pigeons must roost. Since it’s a vertical drop and pigeons can’t fly like helicopters, they get stuck in the L joint. There’s no way to get to them, unless you take apart the pieces of the vent, shaped sheet metal, in sections, painted over in decades of lead paint. This, to the best of my knowledge has never happened. The pigeons scratch with desperate claws for a few days. Then silence.

 

(Next week, a hole will be cut in the side of the L joint. A little sliding metal door will be fixed to its side. Inside the vent, countless skeletons and feathers of numerous pigeons. Their remains will be placed to rest in respect. Now, when the scratching of claws is heard, I will take a very tall ladder and slide open the little metal door.)

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Mountain Lake

Burnt Lake

I sit with her

Placing her in memory

Giving thoughts strength, yet

In her silence, she frightens me.

I rely on others

Camping upon her shore

To soothe my worry.

And although I haven’t

Seen her rimmed with snow

Echoing the clearest of nights,

Pitted with raindrops

Upon her clear face,

Witnessed her held tight

By mist and clouds,

I know she has experienced this.

 

She reflects me

Placing me inside her memory

Giving strength to her beauty, yet

In my silence, I frighten her.

She relies on the stream

And springs to ease her.

And although she hasn’t seen

All who I love, have loved,

My stumbles and woes

On nights of anxiety,

My elations and successes,

The clatter of the city

Reverberates within me

She knows I have experienced this.

 

elanmudrow@gmail.com

Urban Mimesis — Elan Mudrow Photography

via Urban Mimesis — Elan Mudrow Photography

Fire had sustained, now it consumes in a slow gesture. Fingers—intact—same shape as they were before, can’t conduct. Invoking is a painted portrait, prepared each morning in the image of the moon.

Flame like flowers still shoots spells. Stems like wands direct their colors, greens, reds, yellows. The good ember, still visible—kindled, licks of heat, whispers of words—reignite.

 

 

The Ocean Welcomes Me Back

She knows me.

Though, I haven’t seen

All that she is…..

All her anger and angst

Frozen at times, treacherous.

I know her

From the safety of my footing.

She can pull me, She pulls me, I am pulled

Not by ebb, but by longing

A craving for our meeting.

She allows me to see her.

I am but painted doll

Easily tripped into a fall.

We are cyclic, together.

Friends as we are

 

I see her placid face

Fierce, reflecting sky.

Her cheeks aged, rippled

As they were at the beginning.

She’s my crone

My witch of calm

Curled slightly

With wavy hair

Rebelling,,,,,

The straightening of her tides.

Her voice, mesmerized magnetic

To my metal ears.

Grounded by emotion

She nudges me

To a rhythm depth tone.

My womb vibrates

With her motion

At the same time

I am her birth.

 

Her movement is mine

I am she, like her,

The invertebrate

With liquid body

Skin of whatever color

You wish to call me

We are deep in wrappings

Around dense mineral

Earthen cultrate creatures

Terrestrial mud makers

That simple creation act

Pottery, clay, and figure

Shaped by moisture

Solidified by solar storm.

 

I feel like she is forever

Whose depths

I know by kindred.

We raise our spirits

(For me, this once)

To mist and cloud

Transform, evaporate

Until our salt

Is yanked from our souls

And we fall

To new fawns

of phosphorescence

 

 

If I were to say

“Listen to her”

You would have

Already heard

Incantation

Leaves in summer, full of passion, always flirt

Roots in winter, compassionate, hold the dirt

 

 

 

Carbon

We watch the night sky, safe under its lights, reading a language of the night. Our hands fumble, circle as if in orbit, landing inside each other’s magnetic field. 

We whisper to one another in a planet’s dialect, built by a syntax of suns, stanzas that play between solar winds and the ultraviolet, poetry of passion and reaction.

And upon summers like this one, many readers like us have lain and will lie in the quiet, underling quotes of hot stars in a sticky cluster, a mingling of gravity and motion. 


Even at this remote position, far out on a limb of a galaxy, we know the shape of light, its means of flicker.

We accept that light is a fallible hydrogen, a spinning of stories, fiction, changing faster than longing, where denouements appear daily and relationships serve as catharsis.

Our simple act is a holding of hands, a close reading of one another, which may last for a second or for an entire space time continuum.

Our bodies move closer, clumsy, as if forever threatens to do away with us. We touch before daylight strips away our nakedness.

That’s when I let you kiss me.

I laugh with the universe in my lips.

 

Crows

Swirl

They swirl above me, swashes of crows, in a chaos of dashes. They cackle, arguing amongst themselves, bickering with the sky.

These large murders are new. I haven’t seen them like this, as if they’re scolding me. For, I think they follow me. I know you think they follow you too. I would ask you to look up. But who am I to ask?

I ask them if they’re trying to speak to me. Of course, because I’m self-absorbed, I answer for them, “Yes, I’ve made mistakes. Some of them large enough to follow me around for the rest of my life.”

Then, I realize, it’s my ability to communicate that turns them into metaphors. They’re my mistakes. They’re yours too. They are representations of me and you. No wonder their caws fill the air.

And that soothes me, but in a disturbing way. I can understand why it might make you feel uncomfortable. They fly as if they’re in love with tension.

As a child, I believed their eyes saw everything and they shared every sight they saw. They’ve seen everything. Once you’ve seen everything, you can’t believe anything. That’s why there’s so many of them.

The air is thick with eyes. Theirs, ours. Have I lost you yet? It’s ok. Disconnecting is a natural reaction. Perhaps, a survival mechanism. I reach for my phone to take a photo of them. You must see this, even though you’ve already seen it. For you’ve seen everything. I don’t care whether you believe. Let me show you again.

There’s not enough space for them to land. I feel sorry for us. The trees are lower than all the buildings. We’ve built it like that.

We stay inside. Our mistakes can belong to someone else. We don’t want to see everything. We don’t want to share anything. We just want to believe.

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