Thursday, March 12, 2009

Harbinger

stone cold
hoary-skinned
gargoyle
squatting
on the ledge of a life

creased wings
empty eyes
sharp-toothed
smile

a trace
of bright perfume
hovering
in an empty
stairwell

an inflection
in a laugh
on a train
or someone
behind a door
off an alley
channeling
Charles Mingus

dark tresses tumbling down a bare shoulder
deserted payphone ringing merrily in the rain
La bohème rising wistfully
from a ragpicker
in a dumpster

a waitress drops a glass
a girl opens a button
a ten-dollar radio
spills Hank Williams
into black coffee


around the next
corner
or one street
over
or just outside
and above
any window

i am gazing
out

creased wings
empty eyes
sharp-toothed
smile

10 comments:

Karen said...

I love the perspective and the snippets and glimpses he captures.

RachelW said...

Lovely perspective.

Julie said...

Now I have a new favorite poem of yours. Don't I say that all the time? This is awesome!! My favorite verse is:

"a waitress drops a glass
a girl opens a button
a ten-dollar radio
spills Hank Williams
into black coffee"

I can't even describe how much I love that. I also love how you bring the gargoyle back around in the end...with a twist, of course:) Chilling and so powerful!

Jannie Funster said...

YESS!!!

Ain't poetry the greatest thing.

Great poetry, that is. Like this.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

One on my favorite creatures!

I love how the gargoyle is squatting on the ledge of life...perfect!

I think the line about the ten dollar radio spilling Hank Williams into the coffee is truly inspired! As is - "channeling Charles Mingus." What a grip on unreality you have!

I think that is the draw for me. You take what is in your imagination and make it sooo real through your use of eloquent language. And all those things you imagine...Wow!

last unicorn said...

i fear and love gargoyles, something so surreal about them...

:)

Moanerplicity said...

What I received here was the keen awareness of transient things: the dropping of the glass, the opening of a button, Hank Williams on the radio... juxtaposed against the more permanent, the more ominous, the always present ( empty eyes, sharp-toothed smiles). The gargoyle suddenly becomes Big Brother peering over the mundane events of our daily lives.

But maybe I think too much.

Love the imagery & the way the meaning shifts with each reader.

One.

Karen said...

Back for another read. I can't get enough of your poetry. Truly, I have loved everything I've read of yours.

trooping with crows said...

Although I miss the rhyme, I love the excellent choppy flow-does that make sense?- of these lines. It's like when, all day long you are hearing and seeing bits and pieces of the conversations, actions, and expressions of others all mixing with your own. All the while, how many people think to stop and take note of whose watching and listening!
Wicked, as always, Joaquin

joaquin carvel said...

karen - thank you twice - it's amazing to hear that from you, and it means a lot.

rachel - thank you - glad that came through.

julie - thank you - you can keep saying it, i don't mind :) name-checking hank williams isn't cheating, is it?

jannie - i love when you drop in. thank you.

k. - "a grip on unreality" - i really like that - so much nicer than my diagnosis. (just kidding. i don't have a formal one.) seriously, thank you for your incredible kindness.

lunicorn (can i call you lunicorn?) - me too - i'm always a little startled when i see one...

lin - too much? i dig your thoughtful take on it - and i like seeing the meaning shift too - getting to glimpse these through other peoples' eyes is always interesting and usually illuminating.

troop (can i call you troop?) - kind of glad you missed the rhyme - only because i consider it encouragement. thank you. and glad you liked the choppy flow - fun to work out of one's element sometimes, but harder to know if it's working.