Still Life May 4, 2020May 4, 2020Adina Ruiu Learning stillness from Flemish masters Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading...
The long con of history
Stillness is a mastery
Of the sort that eludes me.
Or rather, come to think of it,
Of the sort that I write off.
I wander on. Past the frame.
Squint, cup my ear, strain,
Wonder at the slight of hand and ache
For the world beyond the tablescape.
Take, for instance:
A Fort Greene fall
A farmers market stall
Roots still a bit muddy
Brushing my hands together
My boots later on the doormat
And again washing up at the sink
I think about what it means
To be earthbound
In the city
Stop. That’s probably just fine, no?
I don’t know. Let me try again.
Take two. With a thesis this time.
Or something like it. A flow.
Something about high art and the streets,
Golden Ages and Low Country hustles.
Step right up!
Step right up and take a guess:
How much can twenty-four dollars get you?
It’s a carnival booth
In the bleak Coney Island morning.
Last night’s loose trash looks like lost rabbits.
Around here it’s not as easy as it used to be
Finding a man to deal you the three-card monte,
When you need to get high on the oldest trick in the book.
But don’t worry. Here’s a Canal Street table
Laid out with trinkets that shine truculently bright,
Overstiff handbags and timepieces that feel light.
A happy bargain for folks born yesterday. Tick tock.
At least while it lasts. A New Amsterdam minute.
Or to be even cuter about it: a Minuit. Mic drop.
Up in Times Square glow,
A ‘Lo Head revival kicks it old school.
Fuck the Night Watch. They’ve got nothing on them.
Hold on. Of course it was a trick question.
I think the right answer was…
I don’t know. How far do you want to go?