Draft (NYC)

Draft (NYC)

I think as I walk through midtown Manhattan that I should email you my manuscripts
just in case I get shot or blown up tomorrow.

Shoulders filter the night; I weave slightly (in part because of thick black shoes meant to roll worn feet
into a next step)
even as I pass a guy whose face shows the shadowed hollows of someplace south or east of the Mediterranean, depicted in the news lately as scary hollows–

yet, I feel pretty sure that if I should stumble he would catch me by the arm–

a little behind him, two policeman (each of different ethnicity) and half a block behind–these being tense times– two more–

but also because the sidewalk’s really uneven here, slabbed.

Still, I stick with the cracks, having seen a rat on the smoother path I was about to turn down, a curve through the Park (supposedly safe now
in the dark)–

I want to digress here into a story about a pregnant raccoon in this same Park, how I happened onto her one bright day and, in yesterday’s dim, her silhouette, possibly–but it is too long a story for this piece–even though there is something somehow endearing
about a city that harbors pregnant raccoons in its parks (they get rabies shots) despite
the rats–

this city where also hang Matisses blue as sky or sea dancing
and where in the high glass ahead float paned wedges of reflected neon, blue
as a Matisse.

I feel rather sorry for you trying to figure out what to do with the manuscripts–

me who did not myself give them time, yet who still wants them saved,
who wants them (so much) to walk about in the best way manuscripts can, that is, holding
someone’s hand, in the way a book might hold mine now,
but for the night,
holding that person’s hand through street and room, through comfy chair
and scary hollow, showing that person (if desired)
the silhouettes of pregnant raccoons–and more–a woman
the only need
wedges of light–really, any color
will do–

A very odd draft poem for Corey Rowley’s prompt on With Real Toads about the hearts desire(right this minute.) 

The pic was actually taken by me a few weeks ago, showing light shows that were done before the NYC Marathon–not the neon squares of glass I write of, but cool pics, I thought.  All rights reserved. 

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

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22 Comments on “Draft (NYC)”

  1. hedgewitch Says:

    Though you have put weaving into this in more ways than one, it seems more the weaving of a very graceful, strong and beautifully costumed dance than a meandering wander or stagger of weakness–I am one who feels nothing but fear and discomfort in a city(any city, even the one of my birth) but here I feel your love for it, a love that comes from it holding things which are dear, meaningful, supportive even at their most alien or distant. You make humanity endurable here, Karin, as you pick out all the really important and relevant ways we sustain each other–and how appropriate your place of heart’s desire is, where I have so often found my own sanctuary–between the covers of a book–and the idea and spirit of giving something intrinsic of your own self to add to our beloved written wealth. Just a very creative and original write, as well as an eloquent and beautiful one. (And I love the racoon.)

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Ha! Thanks. I felt the raccoon–the whole story–was just too crazy and long–it is a very detailed story worth writing of in its own right– and yet I also felt that it was the most fun part of the piece so hated to take it out. Glad you liked it, and glad that it moves along smoothly along not to be a pain to read. Thanks again. k.

      On Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 9:14 AM, ManicDDaily wrote:


  2. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    What I appreciate most about the poem, is the freedom created by stream of consciousness, so apt when considering how too many lives are being restricted by fear and images of slaughter, flashed all too blood-thirstily over every media outlet available. We live in terrifying times, good to remain calm at centre, remember that pregnant raccoons can thrive in hostile territory.

  3. I enjoy the concept of a book holding one’s hand and as Kerry mentions, the stream of consciousness…powerful, K.

  4. I like how your poem seems to wind it’s way, meander like a path through an English Garden (and a pregnant raccoon definitely fits there).. and those thoughts about people’s skin color we still carry within… I think this way of going straight by also looking to the sides is so real..

  5. Sherry Marr Says:

    I think this is my very favourite of your poems yet, kiddo. It is simply beautiful, rats, racoons, the man with sunken cheeks who would have certainly kept you from falling……….and the wanting of your words to live on, as do we all. A gorgeous write.

  6. Candy Says:

    I will read this again and again finding new delights and meaning with each read

  7. Glenn Buttkus Says:

    A prose poem to cherish or sure, & yes, I agree your urban pride, & survivalist’s attitude just shine, piercing the darkness, muffling the gunshots, stifling the screams. I love the recurring preggers raccoon; it symbolizes something. Long after we are gone, cockroaches, rats, & raccoons will inherit the cities.

  8. margaret Says:

    Long walks and the meandering mind go hand in hand. I liked this, and I too wrote about this same area – just I had a little man with me 🙂

  9. Brendan Says:

    New York has known different and even perhaps greater personal hours of fear–no one cared to risk walking anywhere in the city back in the ’70s–but since 9/11 the shadows have been darker, haven’t they? The peril in greater magnitude to the sharpness of fear. Walking now in the dark there I imagine (as reading here) one writes these last letters of instruction to the living and the loved, treading with one’s footsteps so amplified (great detail). The paradox I get in the lead picture, the hidden thread in the carpet that leads us out, is that the night above the walker is so magisterial, that the world of the dead is nothing really to fear but is the welcome of all of those manuscripts. My take anyway. Such an engaging read, Karin.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thank you, Brendan. I am honestly not so fearful at this point, or maybe used to that sense of it–the lucky thing about the City is that long-time denizens are typically not very fearful of the things that strangers may fear– It is very strange, though, as an older person, remembering prior eras, to walk through the Park at night–Central Park–I do do it quite often, but usually just certain angles, etc. and often with a little catch in my throat, though honestly, there are people about even when it is very very dark. Thanks for your lovely poem. k.

      On Sat, Nov 21, 2015 at 5:30 AM, ManicDDaily wrote:


  10. I enjoyed this so much. Like walking through the park with you as you think out loud. It has a bit of an undertone of anxiety yet determination to still live and hope for the things we care about and desire.

  11. Helen Dehner Says:

    I don’t know how to voice what I am feeling at this moment … I was there, beside you, behind you. And I thank you for writing this.

  12. Marian Says:

    Karin, I love this piece, relate to this piece, feel myself inside of it, being someone who wanders around Midtown allowing the kind of free association you unleash here. It’s wonderful. The care of raccoons, that IS charming. The certainty of stumble and being caught. It’s all really tactile and great.

  13. Herotomost Says:

    Ok, honestly, this is something I could read for hours. What a wonderful rhythm, you think it odd, but it has such a real feel to it. The refrains in parentheses are wonderful and such a glass block window into the other side, the real thought. You know I love refrains and shadow voices. Just a great piece of writing, makes me so glad I came up with this prompt. Thanks for playing!!!!

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thank you so much, Corey. Your writing of the prompt was so special–your word pictures tremendously seductive. Much enjoyed. k.

      On Sat, Nov 21, 2015 at 10:50 PM, ManicDDaily wrote:


  14. I came the other day when you left me the link and I could not get past the first verse. It was painful to read, mainly because there was no hysteria-inducing tone but a calm and almost casual remark. Tonight I have finally read it all and I loved it all the more. The way you control the pace of it is incredible.

    “I feel rather sorry for you trying to figure out what to do with the manuscripts–”

    Magical touch. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  15. M Says:

    You really are a talented prose writer, Karin. This has that feel ~

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