February 27, 2009KR BlogUncategorized

All this living in the space between our lives

When I lived on Margaret Street, the sun came in my bedroom window, in fire escape stripes, every late afternoon. From the window you could hear the old woman Anna yelling or cooing at her husband Blackie, people entering or leaving Bova’s Bakery. It was sort of a collage of noise as I fell asleep on my bed some days.

Do you ever have that particular kind of emptiness when you awake from a nap, and there are waves of sound in your head from the open window, and it is already dusk–you missed hours, and so much noise, and no one noticed, and you missed nothing in particular–but you are full of missing?

You could also get this feeling listening to the Jens Lekman song “Sky Phenomenon,” or by being only half-present in your life for half a year, or by going to a John Ashbery reading like the one in Providence last night.

I tried to write down some of his lines from the reading.

They were all so much quiet noise: Movies, hiccups, the word zymurgy, someone asking, “Does this donut remind you of a life preserver?” Someone bidding farewell to Santa Claus“

They were all sort of noncommittal in a way that made a kind of limbo, a space:

“The bad news is that the ship hasn’t arrived. The good news is that it hasn’t left yet.”

“It belongs to the d??cor, the dance, forever”

“Camaraderie, or something”

“Miming birdsong in the light”

“It’s better out in back around those self-forgetting trees.”

“And the people, they’re left too, wedged in a fucking dream”

Dusk, he said so many times. But it was with a kind of longing, not to be at an end, at “day’s indisputable margin,” but to be on the cusp of night.

(Or is this just me?)

His poems last night were a nap by a window opening out on a busy street–

until dusk, when life starts, and we can wait together for the moon to rise.