Friday, January 23, 2009

5 Princesses Dance at the Cross Bay Station

When does the princess become a queen?
When does she blossom?
When does she burst into flame?

The 5 boys dance for each other.
For their own amusement
and love of life

50 people quietly wait for the train
25 for the sea
25 for the island
45 stare at the boys.

Plebes basking in the light of royalty.

Instantly recognizable,
the divine touch,
that science has yet to define,
resides within them,
They are above us.

45 Plebes stare as Princesses invent a world.
We are not noticed
Nor should we be.
They dance in a separate realm that only seems to share our dimension.
We are grateful for the glimpse.
O How they shine.

The 5 boys twist and hook hips
Wobble Legs
and Fast Vogue Hands
They mime and mesh styles
Caribbean Parade, Break-Dance, Madonna
I'm not really sure how they do it.
Or what IT is.
But It's fascinating
In proper attire these Princesses could make a Plebe forget himself.

And a strange thing happens.
For the 1st time since the fad began
I see boys in tight jeans and I don't think


These Princesses make it look good.

These boys inform me in no uncertain terms that
I am old
I know not of which I speak
Behold the youth
The tide comes in 
Destroys my sand castles
And now new minds create.

I thought they were wearing tight jeans and sneakers?
I was wrong.
They were wearing ballgowns.

The 5 boys dance
and Dylan is just another name.
if you have another song to sing sir
go ahead and sing it.  But please keep 
it quiet.  We rented this dance hall 
and Bowie was just a fake
or a sell-out
Either way, his sun set
and he'll never get 
to take it back
Lennon's just lucky they never got their hands on him.
Hip Hop's just an institution.
And Mick and Janet are so fucking deluded
the 5 boys just pity them.

And I'm just a plebe.
I never got invited to the dance and I never will.
The tide rolled in
The tide rolled out
And now I keep time 
With the sea-anemones.

But just before I got swept away.

Somewhere between the bottle and the field.

I was given a glimpse of the days to come.

Of 5 boys dancing

And Queens-To-Be


  1. Thanks.
    i almost forgot what I'd been missing.

  2. Thank you for sticking with me.
    After some exploration I've found some wifi spots and have returned to the blogosphere to add my ten cents to the distraction capital of the universe.
    This is one of 5 NYC specific poems
    and the 3rd of which I actually like - the others being "In One Block" and "Adjusting to Insanity".

    I'm thinking about expanding the blog to include poems by other authors. To maybe encourage convo in the comments. Thoughts?

  3. Reading the poem again this morning I like it even more- it's exceedingly specific beneath seemed to me at first a general wash of metaphor. The first signs that you've become old are always painful. And I recognize the dancers as the un-dismiss-able harbingers of observed age.
    Other poets? Are we talking about dead white men? Friends of yours? Poetry is no easy way to get a conversation started. Unless people just want to hate on the lady at the inauguration.
    I like reading what you've written. If you have other stuff I'd also like, I'll be keen to read it as well irrespective of author.
    This is a good one. of the three, I go ATI, 5 Princesses, and then further down In one Block (was IOB the first one you wrote?)

  4. It's funny.
    You rank the poems in reverse order of how long it took me to write them. Kaplan has this theory that no one ever moves strictly forward. When we add new skills we actually move a little backwards as we get comfortable. After we improve those skills specifically then we can improve further on the whole.

    For example, I tutor a girl who on the whole is a pretty good reader. She can read complex passages and quickly assess what the main point is - but she has difficulty with specific grammar rules and when she's asked questions on this she gets lost pretty quick. So I'm working with her on grammar specifically, at first, her overall reading scores went down because she was just getting comfortable. But as she has improved on her grammar and become more comfortable and confident with it, her overall score has improved beyond were she began at.

    If that makes sense.
    I say that to say this.

    ATI was the first one I wrote of the 3. It was inspired and I was pissed and didn't really know what I was doing but I knew it was good. IOB was the 2nd and most immediately written of the three and I was also trying to play with some tools I'm taking from Eliot and play with form. It was also the first time I experimented with font and what-not and the jury is still out on that. 5 Princesses is currently my favorite, but really, that's only because it's the one I've written most recently and the youngest child is always the favorite. I also feel a little more comfortable experimenting with form and hopefully making it a little more subtle and allowing the listener/reader to take and leave whatever they like.

    Still undecided on other authors although I'm leaning against it. They would be primarily dead white men.

  5. Personally, I don't think this blog needs a crowd. This is your place, your voice, your soapbox. I feel like a forum is a better format for inviting conversation. Of course, comment sections often become conversational, but often wander off topic entirely when they do.

    It's kind of funny that you should post this today. I myself was out dancing with queens last night...but I refuse to feel old.

  6. Good on ya Milk-Chan.
    It's quite possible that dancing with queens is actually an anti-aging elixir. Doctors should prescribe it. And folks might be more likely to open their minds if they found out that it doing so would keep them young.

    Regardless, I've a hard time imagining you ever being old.
    You'll be one those 70 year-old kids singing songs and playing poker for candy.