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The book The House of the World has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and is now available on Amazon.

New York for the First Time

I’ve never been there.
It’s so familiar to me
that I forget I’ve never been there.
And I must go to see
what I know so well.
The feel of the sidewalks,
trees in their little potties of concrete.
It’s good that I might see it
in the spring.

What will the people say to me?
Eyes full of prairie,
face relaxed and featureless
from the stories of the Midwest.
Will they walk through me like air
smelling of apples and wheat?
Does New York know its genius
never lived there?
Never grew up with its buildings
surrounding the sky.
That the artists and singers,
the professors and poets
could not have taken root
in so much concrete.

But it is beautiful nevertheless.
Like a sporting event
with a hundred thousand people
absorbed in a great drama.
That is what I might see.
What I expect.
A congregation of caravans
from the ends of the earth
buying and selling,
living and dying,
intoxicated by the fumes
of a metropolis
for which there is no other.
Perhaps best understood
by the movies of a lifetime.

Published inIndex of all Poems