New York City skyline at night




Pamela Hart

Emily Dickinson in Times Square

"I write in the midst of Sweet Peas and by the side of Orioles."
— Emily Dickinson, letter to Mabel Todd Loomis 1885

Wild neon night — all clamor & jostle
The circumference of traffic —

Buzz of syllables — heft —
Of cab horn & crowd spoon

No compass can chart this inscape —
Its burst of billboard into color —

The slant light of electric ticker
Tape — the multi platform million

Dollar vernaculars that criss-cross
Broad streets from the center

To the great river that sweeps
My inland soul to sea

Let's meet dear stranger — dear
Sister where time squares

Shoulders against lack —
Hustle throbs against linger

Listen — the commerce
Of word into flesh & oh —

The stumble of it — the swooning
Narrow rush into rapture


On Not Looking

Some crazy wind
banging into chimes,
crashing into chairs

I could hardly hear
dog bark, car horn
that incessant blackbird

doves hoo-hooing
as the gust rushed around
hiding from green

there was a sigh
of truck wheels or was
it a plane fine-tuning

the sky I don't know
I was listening not looking
there was no invention of color

I was a refusenik
arguing against meaning
and verb tense

I sat very still
the wind chasing itself
the sounds


Radiant Species

I imagined you & it was
a type of goodness

In the beginning a small space
filled with the photograph

I concocted from a soup
of light & chemical, form

emerging in the empty cup
I held it to balance the lack

I carried the cup wherever
filled it with air or liquid

watched light move across
its surface during the years

shadow over lip on certain
days & so my cup

became the photograph that
became you & my inherent

existence was no longer
drained of shape or cup



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