Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Living With Boxes (Three Metaphors)

I. (It's Not The) End of the World
[Invitation for a party that never happened]

"A long time ago, when we were young and naive and the winking lights of Bushwick Avenue filled our sight long after the bodegas were closed, this is how we viewed our (then-new) neighborhood. The walls of our building were unfinished and the nearest movie store didn't even carry Herzog's Nosferatu. Looking back, I wonder at how we survived those first harrowing weeks. But survive we did. One could even say (thought the evidence is dubious) that, for a time, we thrived. Alas, we thrive no longer. So we move on, inevitably dispersing the empire eastward. And in our process of ceasing to thrive we learned that, in fact, this not The End of the World."

II. Packing
I found a place a few stops further on the subway, on the border between Bushwick, in Brooklyn, and Ridgewood, in Queens. I packed my books in liquor boxes. That looks like a very sharp metaphor, so I will leave it alone for the moment, to avoid injuring myself.
During a recent trip out of town I met a dog with the singular name of Arrow. Her singularity increased in my view when I found she was named after the dog Arrow in the movie The Point. The movie tells a bedtime story about a town where everyone is born with a point--literally--on their head. When a boy without a point is born in the town, he is banished (along with the faithful Arrow) to the wastes of the Pointless Forest, and told not to return until he has one.

Anyone who has seen The Point knows its story balances on the idea that one man's Pointless Forest is another man's Ridgewood, Queens. I thought about that, and packed my books into liquor boxes.

III. Arrival
For the past year, a page ripped from a German magazine hung above my desk. It says "Andreus Leikaufs Bilder handeln nich vom Boxen und vom Jazz auch nicht." I don't know what this means. Above the text is an image of a green and black painting of a desk. Inscribed in the middle of the desk are the words "NOW WORK!" When I took the page down from the wall I found a cockroach had made its home on the wall behind it.

1 comment:

luny said...

Boxes always make me think of this song:

"Box of Rain"
Words by Robert Hunter; music by Phil Lesh
Copyright Ice Nine Publishing; used by permission.
Look out of any window
any morning, any evening, any day
Maybe the sun is shining
birds are winging or
rain is falling from a heavy sky -
What do you want me to do,
to do for you to see you through?
this is all a dream we dreamed
one afternoon long ago
Walk out of any doorway
feel your way, feel your way
like the day before
Maybe you'll find direction
around some corner
where it's been waiting to meet you -
What do you want me to do,
to watch for you while you're sleeping?
Well please don't be surprised
when you find me dreaming too
Look into any eyes
you find by you, you can see
clear through to another day
I know it's been seen before
through other eyes on other days
while going home --
What do you want me to do,
to do for you to see you through?
It's all a dream we dreamed
one afternoon long ago
Walk into splintered sunlight
Inch your way through dead dreams
to another land
Maybe you're tired and broken
Your tongue is twisted
with words half spoken
and thoughts unclear
What do you want me to do
to do for you to see you through
A a box of rain will ease the pain
and love will see you through
Just a box of rain -
wind and water -
Believe it if you need it,
if you don't just pass it on
Sun and shower -
Wind and rain -
in and out the window
like a moth before a flame
It's just a box of rain
I don't know who put it there
Believe it if you need it
or leave it if you dare
But it's just a box of rain
or a ribbon for your hair
Such a long long time to be gone
and a short time to be there