Wednesday, September 06, 2006

missed stops

So i'm in NYC, we had a great book launch for Truth Thomas' Party of Black at the Bowery Poetry Club and I've been trying to relax and write. Verdict? I've still got the writing blues, but it's only affecting my prose, not the poetry. I guess I'll have to go with that. I cheered myself up today by doing what I often do when I'm with my Mom... Oh yeah, I've been hanging with my Mom for 8 days straight: nothing like riding a cross-state bus with your mother. It kind of tells you if you've been raised right or not. If you can't have a conversation, something went wrong between breast milk and moving out. I'm proud to say Mom & I have had a blast - laughing at people, debating post-natal depression (Mom's a retired midwife), and trying not to spend too much money, which has been surprisingly easy considering that my mother loves shoes the way she does... So, where was I? I googled myself (that's how I prove to her I haven't been wasting my time) and I am still tickled to find that a Manchester student rag saw me perform with Dead Prez and thought my set was the most moving of the night (link here) but the coolest link is my British Council/CalStateLa residency link http://www.calstatela.edu/academic/english/nparkes.htm YES, I HAVE ARRIVED! Now, who wants to take bets on how long it takes before I'm feeling low again?

Here's one of my poems:

Lapse

The Greyhound is late. I’ve been fast
asleep too long to know why, but the man
beside me – Chinese – tells me what time it is.

He turns to the back-lit maze of his phone, taps
a geometry of buttons, gets lost in an exchange
about auditions and lost opportunities. I look

across the aisle: the big guy with the Yankees
cap has struck up a dialogue with the Polish
woman beside him. Her dark eyebrows arch –

an eager pair – in synch under her blond hail; I can
tell she’s open; so is he, but he’s fearful, hasn’t
yet learnt the curved asymmetry of lust. There is

already a lapse between her keenness, his lean
and the speed of his initiative. Somebody should
tell him that if the lapse grows any longer

the door of chance will close – snap in
his face. It’s already too late. The bus is
drifting into Harlem, Connecticut a distant memory:

I hear him say excuse me, he calls his Mom. A pink
rose blooms on the woman’s cheek, she looks
outside. I hang my head, exhale, and close

my eyes. The man beside me snaps his phone shut.




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