Downtown NYC Not-So-Kyrielle


Downtown NYC Not-So-Kyrielle

Little black boxes line the street.
I don’t quite know how caught rats meet
their doom; just that this life’s sure tough,
though we cry uncle, Lord, enough.

Walk next by 9/11’s hole
now asphalt filled, pressed ash and soul,
where shuffling tourists huddling chuff
(and I cry uncle, Lord, enough.)

Tied to cell, a broker f-words:
“don’t tell clients to buy secureds==
our fee’s cut down with that f- stuff,”
(as I cry uncle, Lord, enough.)

Sidewalks grey; the sky-rofoam white–
day chases cAsh to black-box night==
I seek the lee, but find the luff,
crying uncle, oh Lord, enough.


Here’s my (draft) version of a Kyrielle, a French form, which I’m trying for Gay Cannon’s prompt on dVerse Poets Pub Form for All.  Gay has a great article about them – my understanding is that they started from the idea of Kyrie Eleison in the Catholic mass, though have ventured far afield. 

A couple of process notes – yes, there are these weird black rat boxes all around downtown.  9/11 is meant to be pronounced “nine-eleven.”  (I’m sure you got that.)  (I have nothing against the tourists.)  And yes, a broker from a bank was shouting f-words very loudly today by my ATM at the thought of a reduced investment commisions.

Explore posts in the same categories: New York City, poetry, Uncategorized

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21 Comments on “Downtown NYC Not-So-Kyrielle”

  1. grammalynn Says:

    Ah that’s NYC for you!

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Gay Cannon Says:

    I love how you can take a form like this – so medieval – and make such a current, modern, affecting poem. You are truly gifted, K. I liked this enormously — showing me the less-glamorous side of Manhattan!

  3. cloudfactor5 Says:

    I got no sympathy for rats, but the last quatrain is fantabulous !!

  4. brian miller Says:

    skyrofoam white…ha…that is awesome….great word play…def love the mod flavor…the grit of the street, not quite christmas cheer…enough for sure…

  5. wordcoaster Says:

    Enjoyed both the tone and the wordplay–also enjoyed the use of the equal signs, very unique. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  6. Grace Says:

    Enjoyed this city’s scene from you K, liked the creative refraining line ~

  7. Sabio Lantz Says:

    I love the refrain — and a good story around it!

  8. Mary Says:

    I enjoyed the slice of New York City life in Kyrielle form.

  9. claudia Says:

    nice…you show us a slice of nyc that is different to what the tourists see.. and nyc has surely suffered enough those last year. as much as i love the city, i think it’s prob. not so easy to live there

  10. janehewey Says:

    love the ash and soul, huddling chuff in your second stanza. the whole poem chants of life in the city, here and now punctuated by rats and sidewalk cell-talkers. great work, K.

  11. A different take on NY for me, k. I have been a ‘shuffling tourist’ 🙂

  12. soggytractor Says:

    Enjoyed the tone and the structure’s so creative- very unique, well done. Check out my poetry if you want!

  13. Tony Says:

    I’ve never been to NY, but your poem has certainly painted an image of it in my mind. I wonder what type of ‘rats’ the traps are for….

  14. Mama Zen Says:

    What a great piece!

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