Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008: On the Street.....White on White, Paris

She hovered in the doorway
her girlish white dress
transformed by the light
passing through it
revealing the garments
that were and were not

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008: On the Street...Gatsby Moment, Paris

You can judge the authenticity of a pearl
by its temperature, string, and texture,
The red-haired lady at the garage sale
told me as I pulled a strand of grays

from the sparkling pile of junk in a box.
Hold a pearl in your palm, and clutch it,
clam-like. It should first be cool to the touch
and then leach heat from your skin.

Now look for the knots in the string.
Each pearl should be individually secured
by the silk. In case it should break.
I saw each tiny knot, like a seed pearl

guarding the pearl’s entrance and exit.
Last is the texture. Does it feel smooth?
I rolled it around on a finger. It did.
Well, hold it to your tooth, and gently

Scrape it up and down. How does it feel?
If it’s real, it should be grainy.
And in my mouth it felt like sand, and made
a dull sound like the distant surf.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008: Elegance (458)

Stepping through the crowd of men,
I absorb their glances, their comments,

And watch the pigeons tucked in buildings
Biting their feathers, readjusting.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008: On the Street....Taxi Taxi, Stockholm

When we were children, our mother dressed us alike.
Interchangeable t-shirts, dresses, skirts.
At thirteen, one of us put up a fight
And borrowed our father’s red flannel shirt.

Our mother smiled, but her eyes looked hurt.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008: On the Street.....Stockholm Smile

Fall arrives suddenly, coaxing hands into pockets.
Blouses sprout sleeves that we bunch at the elbow,

Revealing our eager wrists to the damp air.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008: On the Street......Ostermalm, Stockholm

If I would have caught the bus,
I’d be sitting in your kitchen,

late summer light bathing us.
But, my dear, this didn’t happen—

I heard the bus while buying bread
(which I should have done last night

but I didn’t). So, instead,
we’ll dine by artificial light.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008: On the Street.....Black and White, Stockholm

What I found in the pockets of last year’s raincoat
while wearing it this morning:

Ticket stub from a movie I can’t remember

Receipt from the grocer for oranges, dated September 3, 2007

Ex-boyfriend’s blue guitar pick

Tiny bit of paper with the number 217 written on it in pencil

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wednesday, August 20, 2008: On the Street...Joakim, Stockholm

When I asked Joakim why he only wore black,
He brought me to his closet, laughed,

Replied, There are at least ten shades
Of black. When the colour fades,

You can see the undertone.
Here’s a sweater I’ve outgrown.

The worn-out spots are all green-black.
I started sorting through a stack

Of his black pants, noting other
Shades, more bruised, darkened colours:

Olive-black, an army mud;
Reddish, brick black, like blood

That’s dried; the inky-blue of crows
And blackbirds. Brown-black; wine-black merlot.

That night, I dreamt fevered dreams
Of counting blacks and shredded seams.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Wednesday, May 30, 2007: On the Street.....NYU Student, Manhattan

White wires dangle
from pockets and ears,
twisted and tangled.

We plug ourselves in
between here and there
to accompany errands.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Sunday, July 29, 2007: On the Street.......Summer Cardigan, Soho

Throughout the day, thirteen hands adjust
the dial that controls the office climate.
The corresponding clothing negates August:
jackets, scarves, sweaters, even blankets
shield women’s shoulders from A.C.
Metropolitan air ferments,
is chilled on ice, decanted soundlessly.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008: On the Street.....the Stockholm Look via Los Angeles

The laces in my shoes were unlucky.
I threw them away after Cheryl dumped me,

after tripping over them and into her,
six years ago in November.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Friday, November 30, 2007: On the Street.....Greys & Blues, New York

Rain changes sidewalks and streets into mirrors,
concrete into pyrite, mercury, graphite.
Our reflections grow out of our feet, like roots
anchoring us to our blurry shadows.

The weather’s alchemy stirs up moods,
conjures the blues.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008: On the Street.....Lucia Early Evening, NYC

Lucia refused to use “fabulous,”
preferring “terrific” or “charming.”
Her old-fashioned clothes are disarming
since she wears them with such earnestness.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008: On the Street.....Two, Paris

Before my brother the banker
Became a banker,

He told me he thought he’d move out
To the countryside.

Well, why would you go and do that?
I’d asked him, perplexed.

I don’t remember his answer,
Only his face.

And when I saw him this morning
He looked the same

As he did that day: wistful,
Tired, windblown.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Friday, August 8, 2008: On the Street...Crosby St., Manhattan

She excels at the cello
but hasn’t played in four years.

Today on the subway
at 8:37 A.M.

her fingertips tingle.
She knows she’ll leave work early,

racing home after lunch.
For hours, outside her apartment

the voice of the cello
dapples the street like sunlight.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Thursday, August 7, 2008: On the Street...Masha, Soho

Take Masha, for instance.
She cut seven inches
From her long hair
In her bathroom at home.

Or you, for that matter,
Who quit smoking last year
After a decade.

Or how bout that guy
Who was in a coma
For thirteen years
And one day woke up?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wednesday, August 6, 2008: On the Street... Structured Jacket and Shorts, Paris

We march to work wearing authority:
Jackets, shiny watches, folders, red pens.

Our shoes clip-clopping, signalling through sound
That we mean business. In youth, we learned about

Hard soles clacking in crescendo:
Shh...the teacher’s coming back!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tuesday, August 5, 2008: On the Street...Graceful Steps Paris

I studied the geometry of her frame:
Shoulder to elbow, elbow to wrist, wrist
To fingertip. She had her bones well-trained

To wrap and fold around like they were wings.
When she left for good I made a list
Of her proportions, and folded up her things.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Monday, August 4, 2008: On the Street...Young and in Paris

Underpinnings overlap with outerwear,
straps stripe their shoulders.
Laces slowly untie themselves
in the well-worn shoes of teenage girls.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Saturday, August 2, 2008: At Louis Vuitton, Paris

A tilt of the head,
A thrust forward jaw,
Thick silver chain,
Gabardine jacket.

Limbs held close to the body, crossed.
Slim slump of the shoulders.
Lacquered red lips.
The Storialist. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.