Saturday, August 23, 2008

Event Horizon on West 8th Street

I can tell you where he is
although I’d ask you not
to do what I did when I saw him
for the seventh time: so column-
stiff – implanted right outside
the hot dog counters of Papaya King,
unmoving on the northeast corner

of Sixth Avenue and Eighth Street,
nut-brown arms and neck
and glossy ebon hair bared in,
above a short-sleeved cotton shirt –
touching with his forehead the behind
of “Subway’s” sandwich store’s
outfacing placard – holding

its erect flagpole as if he were
a member of a royal guard or funeral –
or waiting for Godot – and moving
not at all – no, not at all, closed
eyes encaged in black sunglasses –
motionless as some warm
living verticality of wall –

until I had to stop, that seventh time
of seeing him, to ask him
how it felt, and was it hard
to stand like that all day – but nothing
in the silent man gave way:
his stance was trance and I should
not have tried to sever his rapt

concentration – aimed at somewhere
so interior and unavailing
to the likes of me that it seemed
prudent to remove myself to see
his grand dissociation from a greater
more respectful distance –
and to speculate, as who could not?,

about the spot to which he’d
evidently laser-beamed his being –
somewhere far beyond this realm,
one had to think: dimensionality
of seeing at some brink set
to prevent my eyes from prying,
spying in or on. His own event horizon.


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