Sunday, April 15, 2012

Poetics: Subway • The Sounds of Silence

Real loopy we were, in crazy torque
one honeymoon night in New York--
hung around Times Square after dark.

We would not make it to the park
until the next day. But that night
it was darker than light,

our eyes were tired, our feet so sore.
We bought a key-ring alarm in a store
that gave me the creeps, even more

than the imagined peeps it was for.
(What was the rush...we'd
been in the city for a week.)

We were hungry; I needed caffeine
in spite of the rush seeing the ring
on my left hand. Offhand I'd say it

was a screwy kind of night: helter-skelter
sightseeing (I loved NY
sight-unseen since I was nine),

so much to see, too little time,
too emotionally fried
and we lost our way--although we tried

for the right underground station.
Missing the mark led to frustration,
the need for contemplation.

In a sad diner with sour coffee
and stale pie you sweetly kissed me.

Feeling bedraggled, jostled, disjointed,
we headed down for the appointed
route on the map that made sense now.

===We were back on track===, and Wow...

There in concrete tunnels with roaring trains
all complexity was softened by refrains
of (imagine this) The Sounds of Silence

sung by two musicians strumming
the song I'm now humming, remembering--
knowing--not everything's science.

                                                              MLydiaM ~ April 2012

Written for Poetics: Subway at dVerse Poets. Thank you to Claudia for this prompt. She recently visited New York City, and her commentary post is pure poetry itself. Just click on the link and you'll see!



Charles Miller said...

You gotta love these musicians who jut their jams into the teeth of all that hurtling steel and humanity. The city's a wide-open, voracious array of connections but finding them one must perhaps get lost and retrieve courage and heart as we find our way home. Lovely poem which recaptures for me as well the attraction/repulsion of city and subway.

bfk said...

Nice New York vignette, Lydia. It rings so true.

Rob-bear said...

Decades ago, when I was living in Toronto, I planned a whole detailed audio-visual presentation (photos set to music) for "The Sounds of Silence."

Your wonderful, happy yet sad, poem brings back so many memories. You two, now the long-married couple. Good for you!

Fireblossom said...

Oh *damn* do I love that last line.

Marbles in My Pocket said...

Beautiful! You wove a wonderfully vivid tale, and finished it off with the perfect lines/song. Very nice!

Brian Miller said... capture all the elements of the subway...the musicians, a great beat throughout...lost and found, back on the right track and even threw in some parenthesis just to make me smile...

rosaria williams said...

How how frustrating the time in a new city is captured here, in so many beautiful scenes.
Great poem.

Anonymous said...

with all the noise in the subway, it is a bit like silence, since the noise has no message

alive on subway senryu

John (@bookdreamer) said...

People talking without speaking, people hearing without listening, people writing songs that voices never share, and no one dare disturb the sound of silence.

Looks like you were there!

Mama Zen said...

I love this!

hedgewitch said...

Lydia, you use the form of this poem, or perhaps I should say, its spirit, to reflect the chaos of bustle and clang that is NYC, the emotional onslaught of a honeymoon in all its own chaos and joy and emotional noise, and blend it together seamlessly to tunnel us below and through that city of light and noise to a personal island of meaning--and like FB, I love that last line with all my heart. Fine and exciting work. (And another one of my favorite Simon/Garfunkel songs.)

Anonymous said...

What a lovely way to put into words the stress and craziness as well as the contentment and joy in traveling with a person you love. Joe and I had a similar experience yesterday (although not in New York, unfortunately!)

Heaven said...

I love that song...Nice retelling of a frustrating but memorable day ~

Thanks for sharing this ~

mythopolis said...

Love, love, love the images you have conjured up here. And I suppose it is a sweet homage to a moment in time...a very important moment at that.

Lydia said...

Charles~ Do you know that your comments are like poems? This one was and I loved it. Thank you.

bfk~ Thank you. Coming from a real New Yorker I take your comment to heart.

Rob-bear~ Your audio-visual project must have been wonderful....couldn't be set around a more beautiful song.
Thanks for your words, as always :)

Fireblossom~ Well *damn* am I pleased.

Marbles~ You comment was much appreciated. I look forward to reading yours (I'll be catching up late Monday...)

Brian~ Aw, thanks, and you are such a sucker for parentheses!

rosaria~ You are so kind. And so right about the frustrations, but they are worth it.

zongrik~ Well said. I was thinking about the subway almost having a "white noise" effect.

John bookdreamer~ Yes, I was. :)

Mama Zen~ So glad. Will be by everyone's blogs late Monday...

Hedgewitch~ My husband and I both found your comment so meaningful. Thank you! I cannot, truly cannot, believe your perfect first sentence. It's Proustian!

Amber Lee~ Thanks much. I will be by late Monday and hopefully will find your account of where you and Joe have been recently. :)

Heaven~ My pleasure, most definitely. I loved recalling the memories.

mythopolis~ Oh, thank you. Yes it was an important moment in time. Looking back from now I see how fragile the beginnings of marriages/relationships truly are. They are a trip in themselves, that's for sure.

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

"the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls"

one of my all time favourite songs for lyrical content

izzy said...

You took me right there! and once again I am over due for my fix-
Headed that way toward the end of this week! Love your diner and subway
some great music, memories- THANKS.
(How could anyone forget the smell?)

Jannie Funster said...


sour coffee and stale pie, not the best. :) But it did spur you on to that incredible music.

Jealous here, years after the fact. :)

Lydia said...

Jannie~ Thank you so much. It really was incredible music and an incredible memory. :)



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