January 6, 2013

i hear birds

This morning I awoke to the sounds of birds and the sun piercing through my window. It was eleven in the morning. I hardly ever get to wake up this late anymore and for the first time in a long time, I have almost nothing to do today (save for the average Sunday things: laundry, groceries, the dread of work the next morning)...

I am not a fan of the New Years Resolution crowd. I think we should try to be our best selves everyday. Striving for that is important. I did not make a resolution although the symbolic closing of one year and beginning of another always lends to feeling like one has a clean slate. I do feel like I have a clean slate. As though somehow everything from last year, which ended only a week ago, is far away and no longer counts for this year. 

I have not made a resolution but I find myself doing things someone who makes a resolution would. I have been going out more, attempting to be more social. I have had positive conversations about the local arts movement and I am hopeful that this year will yield some progress in the Staten Island Arts community and within my own development as an artist.  My friendships are changing and moving, which is like fresh air streaming through the window. These last few weeks have led me back to my poetry; reading old poems with friends (new and old), writing new ones, reading... I think poetry will be revisited in 2013.

In the spirit of all of this I wish to print a poem here, on the Independent Mover, for those who come across it. This poem was written in 2007 under the guidance of Tina Chang, my poetry seminar professor at the time. We were doing a writing assignment that closely follows another poem, line by line, though develops into an entirely new poem. This poem is entitled, me and you in plato's cave. I would love to know what you, dear readers, think!

Happiest of years,


me and you in plato’s cave
by: melissa west

stone walls contain our exoskeletons
me and you beneath the red dark light
we swing heavily the clanging hammer
beats loudly, the wind up on our window
as each truck pushes its gravitational pull
up hills in the distance, flocking sheep—
our fingers make animal figures on the wall
you are a dog, i’m a t-rex.
                        Outside the milkman rings his bell,
the foghorn blows, trying to wake us,
the smoke from your cigarette burns my eyes,
the street beneath us is bony
it ebbs and twists like the beanstalk
buildings, our sheets cover it all
you pull me near you and we watch

the rain beating down on the gutters
while news from the countryside does not reach us
it’s far away, hidden across fields and poppies—
my head beneath the pillow hides the street sounds,
the car doors and winds and ferries and birds
                        from within, the smell of toast and black coffee,
                        the glass filled just a little more than half        
                        the lines on the wall meet the lines in the floor post,
                        the twittering of birds near our window
                        and the wet blue grass that creeps up to meet us—
the long walk from the bed to the kitchen
is the end of the beginning is the end of the
                        pre-socratic bedsleep me and you.

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