PARACHUTE workshop poetry

Three poems written at Patricia Spears Jones’ “Coney Island On Our Minds” workshop at the 2012 PARACHUTE: Coney Island Performance Festival.

Prompt: Coney Island

this is the first time
i’m here without you –
i arrive at the
and the ocean
opens up in front
of me –
our memories
carried back
in the waves,
the way we fell
in love,
laid on the
watched the ruins
of playland arcade
sway in the
imagined ourselves
bathed in the
warm light and
dull roar
of the childs
all those years
the winter we
walked on the
beach watching
the ghostly trails
of snow,
and met at
and watched
the kite flyers
and imagined
someday we’d
get married
take our kids
running in the
surf the way we
did – but now,
now –
we are over.
we are the howl
of the wind
through the
amusements in
the off-season,
just another
spirit of wild
days gone by,
left to linger
and all i have now
is –
a coney island
of the mind.

Prompt: Lines from Ferlinghetti’s “I Am Waiting”

Poem 1:

“and i am waiting
for the green mornings to come again
for some strains of unpremeditated art
to shake my typewriter” –
the one i bought
from the ladies
at the old library
in the little town
upstate –
the one i was
touched at the
heart of me
to discover
was the same brand
fitzgerald used,
touched at the
heart of me
to feel connected
to the scribes of
the past
with each hard
tap tap of the
the chime at
the end of the
the ink smears
and multilayered
letters to
mask each mistake..
finally i feel
i am reconnected to
the work of words
in this modern age,
now without distraction –
without IM windows
or glow of computer
gmail, Facebook,
news tickers or
friend requests –
i am just here
in my backyard
as night falls
at a table
surrounded by
listening silently
to the beat of
this craft
i cannot imagine
my world without.
this rebirth of
is my own
source of
electricity –
just the
two of us –
my typewriter
and i.

Poem 2:

“i am waiting
to get some intimations
of immortality
by recollecting my early childhood” –
oh, wordsworth –
you come back
to rattle the
soul in my bones
again, just as
you did
back in high
under the
fluorescent lights
of mr. brown’s
10th grade
english class –
feeling all those
i would feel for
the rest of
my life
whenever a piece
made me tremble
so hard
as if to shake me
by the shoulders
and say –
this, this, this
is why you are
a writer,
this, this, this
is why you love
what you do –
this connection
through the centuries
and the cosmos
that confirms
for all time
we are one
one hand on the pen
that inscribes our
human experience
on the
great blank page
of this world.

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