Strange now to think of you, gone without corsets & eyes, while I walk on the sunny pavement of Greenwich Village.
downtown Manhattan, clear winter noon, and I’ve been up all night, talking, talking, reading the Kaddish aloud, listening to Ray Charles blues shout blind on the phonograph
the rhythm the rhythm—and your memory in my head three years after—And read Adonais’ last triumphant stanzas aloud—wept, realizing how we suffer—
And how Death is that remedy all singers dream of, sing, remember, prophesy as in the Hebrew Anthem, or the Buddhist Book of Answers—and my own imagination of a withered leaf—at dawn—
Dreaming back thru life, Your time—and mine accelerating toward Apocalypse,
the final moment—the flower burning in the Day—and what comes after,
looking back on the mind itself that saw an American city
a flash away, and the great dream of Me or China, or you and a phantom Russia, or a crumpled bed that never existed—
like a poem in the dark—escaped back to Oblivion—
No more to say, and nothing to weep for but the Beings in the Dream, trapped in its disappearance,
sighing, screaming with it, buying and selling pieces of phantom, worshipping each other,
worshipping the God included in it all—longing or inevitability?—while it lasts, a Vision—anything more?
It leaps about me, as I go out and walk the street, look back over my shoulder, Seventh Avenue, the battlements of window office buildings shouldering each other high, under a cloud, tall as the sky an instant—and the sky above—an old blue place.
or down the Avenue to the south, to—as I walk toward the Lower East Side—where you walked 50 years ago, little girl—from Russia, eating the first poisonous tomatoes of America—frightened on the dock—
then struggling in the crowds of Orchard Street toward what?—toward Newark—
toward candy store, first home-made sodas of the century, hand-churned ice cream in backroom on musty brownfloor boards—
Toward education marriage nervous breakdown, operation, teaching school, and learning to be mad, in a dream—what is this life?
Toward the Key in the window—and the great Key lays its head of light on top of Manhattan, and over the floor, and lays down on the sidewalk—in a single vast beam, moving, as I walk down First toward the Yiddish Theater—and the place of poverty
you knew, and I know, but without caring now—Strange to have moved
thru Paterson, and the West, and Europe and here again,
with the cries of Spaniards now in the doorstoops doors and dark boys on the street, fire escapes old as you
-Tho you’re not old now, that’s left here with me—
Myself, anyhow, maybe as old as the universe—and I guess that dies with us—enough to cancel all that comes—What came is gone forever every time—
That’s good! That leaves it open for no regret—no fear radiators, lacklove, torture even toothache in the end—
Though while it comes it is a lion that eats the soul—and the lamb, the soul, in us, alas, offering itself in sacrifice to change’s fierce hunger—hair and teeth—and the roar of bonepain, skull bare, break rib, rot-skin, braintricked Implacability.
Prompt: What idea(s) does the author develop regarding the effect of adversity on the human spirit?
Theme Statement: When suffering from an internal adversity (such as a mental illness), a reliance on external support is created as a method of healing, allowing the individual to feel the acceptance and restoration that comes with moving forward.
Creative: Feet hit the pavement. Each one sending a jolt from concrete to brain. Solid to squish. If I keep going it should shake the squish into little bits. Tiny little bits, ones that can’t hold a thought for longer than it takes to think it. When it’s one big chunk it does too much. The whole chunk holds on to things.
It is masochism, these walks, when the only other is no other. With no distraction I think freely. The irony in free thought causing more pain then contained.
Step, then solve the problem. Step, find a problem with the solution. Step, solve the problem with the solution to the problem. Continue forward, down the street, avoiding others.
I could leave, find somewhere to go, somewhere to cut the squish into little pieces. But I don’t.
I’m at a crossroads, glancing up for physical safety. I just see neon, and adds. The adds think like me, repeating and looping the same mantras. They have an end goal, to sell. I haven’t found the end to this loop yet.
There’s a flash of yellow up-ahead. Not a light, not bright enough. Not neon, wool, a wool jacket. She had a jacket like that. That’s a problem, find a solution, and then another. Forgive yourself, that could be a solution, but there are too many problems attached.
That is her coat, not a replica. From where I stand I see the button she broke when it got caught on her earring. Still don’t quite know how she managed that. I remember her yelping around the apartment, head tethered to stomach, unable to free herself. Almost charming, those little hops. Her voice calling out to me to free her.
I almost forgot the shape of her voice in my ears.
Do I blame her? Is it her responsibility? She knew my brain did this. She knew. Yet still I run. No one else in this city can own a yellow wool coat with the third button down on the left missing. Forgive me.
I’ve been through so much with her. I despise my dependency, and it’s rebirth. She broke the squish into little parts, where they couldn’t loop into bigger problems. She made my brain clear, gave it focus. I need her.
I call her name.
I almost forgot the shape of the word in my mouth.
What if it’s not her. I’ve just humiliated some poor woman on the street, just trying to get by. Just trying to make an honest living, just trying to-
It’s her face floating above the jacket. It’s her, standing under a fluorescent bar sign cast down a blue glow. It causes the yellow coat to tinge green.
She smiles. I almost forgot the shape of that smile in my eyes.
Recognition. Outside a dingy little bar. The thoughts stop. She says she misses me. I missed her. I’m sorry. It’s okay. Please help me.
Problem meet solution.
Gif: “:: Bladerunner 2049 Hype.” Steam Community, steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=927138028.