Midtown Midsummer (Morning)


This picture is not a true depiction of Central Park in the morning.  The pic was actually taken in the afternoon.

Midtown Midsummer

Morning park feels like yesterday’s
shirt, worn, but rested right now
from a night on the bedroom floor
slumped just below
the blow of your best fan.

(The wood of that imagined floor
has been sanded, by bare soles, soft;
its varnish long
walked away, leaving a cool in its planks
that the weave of the shirt would now seem
to carry,  if, that is, air were linen,
and linen, aged oak.)

And you are conscious,
walking through this day that does not yet
to your body but still supports itself
a breath or so away,
of things you really mean to do sometime,
other days you want to live–like that bright one slightly buzzing
with bug and sun, in which,
beneath a great straw hat,
you will paint landscapes from life
leaning over watercolors
before a spread
of cattails,
and a few in Lake Como, which you know nothing at all about
but whose name connotes blue
misted by wine; and a couple starting with oatmeal
on the Isle of Skye–you add those in just
for the sound–
but mainly days, many days,
before your own wooden table
and your own unwooden
computer, in the company of words that hold hands
to catch a story as if it jumped
from a burning building and those hands supported
a strong round net–

and before you know it,
you’re at 59th Street, a/k/a Central Park South, and tourists,
whose shorts are the color
of street maps, fold over one or the other,
and the curb is cross-hatched
by stain and plastic,
and the light on everything
from buckle to windshield, coffee cart to
door-manned lid, glares
rather than shines,
and you understand
crossing Fifth Avenue at 57th Street,
(just to the front of Tiffany’s where, this early
in the morning, the windows show only
small backdrops of dusky harbors)
that your time must be plotted, alloted–
allocated (which since it has four syllables
must surely be the best term for
this job) if you wish to get
anything done at all–

and you notice, traversing the grid,
how the crosswalks fade in the center
of the tar, and how the words holding the net
for your stories seem to veer slowly,
h’s tripped by d’s, m’s crowding–

Impatient, you dart across the lowering
side streets–
54th now, maybe even 53rd,
even before the light changes,
even when a truck is coming,
in some pretense of saving time, counting
that you can make it.

Another draft poem, or maybe little story.  I wasn’t going to  link this up with anything as it is so long, but will try Real Toads open platform very belatedly.   Thanks much for reading!

I am posting with it an old picture of Central Park, actually from a very hot afternoon rather than early morning.

Explore posts in the same categories: elephants, iPad art, poetry

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21 Comments on “Midtown Midsummer (Morning)”

  1. journalread Says:

    This is lovely, it seems to capture the breathlessness of summer in the city…

  2. x Says:

    I like how every element has a place in this as you build. Like when you ate talking about painting and adding something for just the sound. Its process but do engaging as well

  3. This poem feels like a shell, the kind you’d pocket on a beach. The narrative voice has an underlying rhythm, a hum, I think, that feels as if it’s tapped into something ancient and deep. Methinks (for sure) a story brews in what’s still buried.

  4. Marian Says:

    I love this, Karin. I recognize this scene (literally and figuratively) and this feeling. Fleeting though it is, it will come back in another reflective moment. Once again I feel a little like you’ve peeked into my brain, or maybe my heart, and have described what’s going on in there. Thanks for that!

  5. Steve King Says:

    A marvelous excursion from the dreamy world of desire to the hastening beat of the temporal world. A very good idea put into fine words. (I was on the Isle of Skye eating oatmeal last month. Can’t wait to go back.)

  6. hedgewitch Says:

    You really create an organic world here, k–the opening, with the shirt on the floor, and all the nuances of mood that you introduce with linen and wood, is very personal and human, as is the feel of crowding replacing the early morning peace, when heat and rush cancel out most forms of clarity…a very alive piece, full of summer and city. And elephants, disporting themselves, of course.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      ps — It is an old drawing (from a couple of summers ago, I think), but I do like the elephants. k.

      • hedgewitch Says:

        I don’t know why I just assumed you had a new poem up, but this was actually a great pleasure to reread, and to pick up on some little things missed the first time through–blue misted by wine, plotted, allotted, allocated, ‘words that hold hands
        to catch a story as if it jumped
        from a burning building..’ and so much more. Very rich in flavor and content, k. replete with contrasts and a sort of distillation of them into graceful acceptance of each.

      • ManicDdaily Says:

        I have a new poem that I am about to put it up. It feels very much like the same poem– in a bit of a rut.

  7. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    I’m sorry to come to this poem so late in the week.

    These lines really held me:

    you notice, traversing the grid,
    how the crosswalks fade in the center
    of the tar, and how the words holding the net
    for your stories…

    I was lucky, in my youth, to spend a day walking the streets of New York. Just a single day but I have never forgotten the spirit of place, and I feel it again now, reading your words.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks. NYC certainly has its good and bad parts and its “walkability” is probably one of the very good. I would love to go to S.A. some day. All too far! k.

      On Sat, Jul 25, 2015 at 12:16 PM, ManicDDaily wrote:


  8. M Says:

    love your elephants and the caption and the slice of living ~

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Ha. Thanks. k.

      On Sun, Jul 26, 2015 at 5:20 PM, ManicDDaily wrote:


    • ManicDdaily Says:

      ps –I am actually trying to work on a little doggy book right now. It is an old book, but I am trying to revise and do a bunch of little pictures. Agh. I am not really an illustrator or a draftsperson, but I am hoping to take my sketches, put them on my iPad and then trace them with a firmer line that looks more illustrational. Only it seems like an awfully lot of work! But I hope I can persuade myself to stick to it.

      Take care, and thanks for your kind words. k.

      On Sun, Jul 26, 2015 at 5:20 PM, ManicDDaily wrote:


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