the year in poetry 2010


our breath hangs in the air
in the morning sun
steam rises from the river
as we cross over the bridge
you are barely visible under scarves

riding my bike
flurries, red cheeks, nose bleeds
my eyes tearing in the cold
gray morning
the streets bleached white

sunday afternoon
january sun
ducks in the river in force
bloodied pigeon wings
open for flight on the sidewalk
clouds of breath
trees white under snow

frozen fog
a fine powder on the ground
trees all white
sun shining in the air
enchanted morning
illuminated air

snowing today
riding my bike through large flakes
the sound of my tires over fresh snow
wind in my ears
fog and slush on my glasses
I can barely see, but it’s warm
and I hear birds

purple gray sky half lit
with the glow of oncoming headlights
underneath it

silhouettes of buildings
three men speak Arabic
holding tiny Turkish coffee cups
on saucers outside ofthe restaurant

snow this morning
phantoms in the distance
the tree with all of its leaves
dried brown and shrunken
rasp like seed pod rattles
in the wind and snow

my feet plod heavy
disappearing under light powder

tracks from tires and other feet

whirl of stars in daylight
as I wait for the bus

seagulls over the abandoned warehouse
two workers in flannel shirts
holding a piece of wood over their shoulders
my heart beating fast

laying in bed last night
thinking about raising our child
while you slept at my side

this morning thunderstorms
my hands cold in the damp air
birds sing, my mind skips around

clock ticking
kids playing in the parking lot
breathe in, breathe out

cold again
mist this morning
damp and cold, gray sky
a morning bird sings
a three note minor melody

yesterday –

smell of pine outside the school
on my long walk home
in the shade – birds, song
waiting to meet my son

the heat thick with humidity
the apartment building just south of the park
surrounded by trees
like a palace
french doors look out onto sidewalks stained with mulberries

this morning –

rain in trees, leaves heavy
the long walk to the train
cool rain drops on my body
the park is empty
my heart is light

rain this morning
this summer is either hot as hell
or rainy and cool

haze of sun through trees
and after morning rain
flowers float in summer heat

in the cool morning
dry leaves blow across the grass
a man runs circles around the compass
in front of the pumping station

insect drone
walking to work
breeze through humid air
robins in the grass
searching for food

last night I dreamt we had our son
I held him and tickled his feet
making him laugh

This morning
gray light
clouds and a steady rain
small white moth flying
between leaves of grass

rain on my umbrella and my shins
pants rolled up
the quiet roar of raindrops on the leaves of the trees
in the park

last night
yoga, then felt our baby kick
while we held each other on the couch

clouds over the skyscrapers
lights glow along the river
umbrellas out
soft morning
cool air on skin

feet in the grass
cool breeze on skin
what will you look like?

fall approaching
the axis has tilted
and the sun is in my eyes
in the morning
while the old woman
waters her flowers with a hose

yoga last night
a surge of emotions
excitement and fear
happiness and the world heaved
as I lay on the floor on my back
in the dark
outside the moon obscured by clouds

sun this morning
clouds high and in straight lines
cool air, clean
and the smell of garlic

the old man sitting in the doorway
hunched over
hand on his knees
a ragged baseball cap
and a flock of magazines
blow through the street
under the train tracks

two geese honk in chorus
on a concrete pylon
they glide over the river
the homeless man wrapped in a blanket
along the river walk

yellow moon hangs low in the sky
the young couple kisses in polish
riding home on the train

what did you say
that night on the train
when you leaned in close
whispering French
in my ear
when I was sick
with love and fear

folding myself up into a lotus
cold morning
bruised light
a small centipede on the wall
breathing and counting

all the leaves on the ground
and the gang of geese
in the schoolyard
my hands are numb
in the November air
breathing and counting
alternates with our son
floating closer in my mind

the morning wrapped in
close grayness
crows caw caw in the bare trees
you are home
wrapped in bed
and our son sleeps with his mouth
quietly open

walking home carrying groceries
my feet crunch and squeak
on frozen snow
early evening black as night
I have to pee

and I think of that
childhood night at the house
of a friend in the country

the toilets broke
and we peed freely
off of the deck
into the black
summer night

he cries and cries
walking back and forth
through the living room
carrying him in my arms
my eyes shut
each step is a chore
falling asleep while standing up

night is interrupted
broken into three hour chunks
one hour of feeding and soothing
two hours of sleep

the sound of bison
heavy feet in the stairwell
otherwise silence
this early in the morning

fiebre de la copa mundial

I’ve got it. You’ve got it. We’ve got it!

So. I’ll be the last person to write a bit about the 2010, which I’ve been enjoying enormously and am totally looking forward to Spain beating Holland. When dealing with the world cup it’s easy to figure out who I’ll be hoping for by knowing a few things.

1. I almost always go for the underdog. Either football-wise or if the country has been fucked over by colonial powers, or the World Bank, IMF, USA, etc.
2. This rule is superceded by teams from Latin America, unless
3. That team is either Argentina or Brasil. I’m tired of them.
4. I also revoke my support from any team that has proven themselves to be douchebags.

I did want the US team to do well, but not go too far, because any exposure that their success can bring to football in the US is fantastic.

So in the group stages here’s who I was going for:

Group A: Uruguay. Mexico. South Africa. France.
This was a tough one. Uruguay and Mexico are both here – Latin America. South Africa – total underdog. The only clear cut team to rule out is France. Because 1 they were a colonial power. And 2, they totally cheated their way to get into the World Cup. At least Thierry Henry apologized. And it was immensely fun to follow all the drama as their team imploded in acrimony. Who to go for? Mexico. Cuz I love Mexico! Although South Africa would’ve been cool too.

Group B: Argentina. Korea Republic. Greece. Nigeria.
Another tough group to choose from. Argentina are clearly out cuz of rule number 3. Greece? Totally bankrupt and anarchy in the streets, they’re a good team to go for. Korea Republic, meh. No opinion one way or the other. Nigeria. Yes! Nigeria!

Group C: United States. England. Slovenia. Algeria.
Here we go. England are out right away. Douchebags. Colonial power. Boring. Slovenia, no opinion. U.S? Again, I want them to do well, but not amazing. So Algeria it is! Vive L’Algérie! That’s a fairly easy group to figure out.

Group D: Germany. Ghana. Australia. Serbia.
Fucking hell! You better believe Australia are gone! Serbia? No opinion. Germany – strong European country? No thanks. Ghana! Hells yes!

Group E: Netherlands. Japan. Denmark. Cameroon.
Boy howdy. I feel like the further into the groups I go, the less interested I got. Denmark and Netherlands. No opinions, but since they have their shit together for the most part and they’re European, they’re out. Sorry to The Ex. Japan? They’re fun to watch, but I’m going with Cameroon!

Group F: Paraguay. Slovakia. New Zealand. Italy.
Less and less interesting for me. Paraguay is the clear winner though.

Group G: Brasil. Portugal. Cote d’Ivoire. Korea DPR (North Korea).
Here we go! Brasil yr fucking gone! Cuz yr Brasil! I’m tired of you. Portugal, way to fuck up South America! In this group it’s a tie! Cote d’Ivoire I’m going for you! But, I’m also going for North Korea, cuz their players need some love. I loved that they held Brasil to a 2-1 win. They held their own against Brasil! They kind of seemed to fall apart after that though. That was a drag.

Group H: Spain. Chile. Switzerland. Honduras.
Here’s another tough one, cuz we’ve got two from Latin America. Chile and Honduras. Switzerland, European country that has it’s shit together – I don’t dislike you, but yr gone. Spain – yr a former colonial power who severely fucked up the western hemisphere, but I’ve got a soft spot for ya, but in this case – yr also gone (even though I like watching yr team play).  So, Chile? Or Honduras? I wanted to see both go through, but if I had to choose one, I’d choose the Central Americans – Honduras!

How’d my teams do?
Group A: Uruguay and Mexico both got through. Alright! Alright!
Group B: Argentina got through! Goddamnit! As did Korea Republic.
Group C: The US got through on top and England followed close behind.
Group D: Germany and Ghana were both through.
Group E: Netherlands and Japan.
Group F: Paraguay, Yes! And Slovakia.
Group G: Brasil, goddamnit. And Portugal. Suckfest!

So at this point I was going for Uruguay and Mexico. Ghana and Paraguay. As well as anyone who would bother to beat Argentina, England and Brasil. And kind of sort of, the US.

The US went out in their first game against Ghana, fair enough. And England followed shortly after when Germany creamed them. Germany who would then cream Argentina, thanks for that Germany.

Mexico also went out in their first knockout against Argentina.

In the knockout stage Uruguay would prove to be nearly unstoppable and they had my support until their striker Luis Suárez totally intentionally and unapologetically used his hand to knock Ghana’s winning goal away, thus eliminating Ghana. Uruguay officially ended up firmly in the douchebag camp.

Brasil finally got beat by the Netherlands, success! They would go on to defeat Uruguay in a kind of thuggish game that made me glad that Uruguay was gone, but didn’t really bring me around to Holland’s camp.

This whole time I’ve been watching Spain. Spain, who are a colonial power, but who I kind of like anyways, have an awesome stylee of play. I know a lot of people don’t like it, dismissively calling it tiki-taka as well as anti-football. A lot of complicated passing and looking for openings where their don’t seem to be any. But I love watching it and find it totally awesome to behold! All of their games have been low scoring, but thoroughly entertaining. And now that they are in the final, I’m totally going for them!

This is the first year that I’ve cared enough to watch the majority of the games and I think I’m coming away from the experience a football convert. I was mildly interested in the game before, but now I think it’s on! When I occasionally catch myself wondering how much a subscription to GOLTV might cost, I think I’ve crossed a line. Not a bad line, but a line.