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Annie Dillard - Mayakovsky In New York: A Found Poem

New York: You take a train that rips through versts.
It feels as if the trains were running over your ears.

For many hours the train flies along the banks
of the Hudson about two feet from the water. At the stops,
passengers run out, buy up bunches of celery,
and run back in, chewing the stalks as they go.

Bridges leap over the train with increasing frequency.

At each stop an additional story grows
onto the roofs. Finally houses with squares
and dots of windows rise up. No matter how far
you throw back your head, there are no tops.

Time and again, the telegraph poles are made
of wood. Maybe it only seems that way.

In the narrow canyons between the buildings, a sort
of adventurer-wind howls and runs away
along the versts of the ten avenues. Below 
flows a solid human mass. Only their yellow
waterproof slickers hiss like samovars and blaze.
The construction rises and with it the crane, as if 
the building were being lifted up off the ground
by its pigtail. It is hard to take it seriously.

The buildings are glowing with electricity; their evenly 
cut-out windows are like a stencil. Under awnings
the papers lie in heaps, delivered by trucks.
It is impossible to tear oneself away from this spectacle.

At midnight those leaving the theaters drink a last soda.
Puddles of rain stand cooling. Poor people scavenge 
bones. In all directions is a labyrinth of trains
suffocated by vaults. There is no hope, your eyes
are not accustomed to seeing such things.

They are starting to evolve an American gait out
of the cautious steps of the Indians on the paths of empty 
Manhattan. Maybe it only seems that way.

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Added: Feb 21 2003 | Viewed: 4806 times | Comments and analysis of Mayakovsky In New York: A Found Poem by Annie Dillard Comments (0)

Mayakovsky In New York: A Found Poem - Comments and Information

Poet: Annie Dillard
Poem: Mayakovsky In New York: A Found Poem
Volume: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 274, No. 3 September 1994
Year: Published/Written in 1994
Poem of the Day: Jan 8 2010
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