Why this?

The occasional poem of my own and a generous helping of work by others that I find inspiring. Site is named for a beloved book by one of my favorite writers, Italo Calvino, whose fanciful work lights--and delights--my soul.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Inside Out: A Culture Clash

[Wrote this poem a while back; thought I'd post as our move-date approaches and NYC recedes.] 

East Village, Manhattan

“For some reason, a lot of Norwegians
are coming in to the shop these days.”

The saleswoman speaks slowly,
articulating for the non-native couple
perusing her spring collection.

This husband and wife—
pale, middle aged, well coiffed—
volunteer a few tidy tips
for the saleswoman’s upcoming trip
to their homeland, and I smile to myself,
recalling a trip of my own.
That nice time in Oslo.

Later, I spot the same couple
on the sidewalk. They’re gawking
at one of my city’s estimable mounds
of stuffed black trash bags.
A taxi whizzes past,
its driver wags and shouts.
The woman braces herself:
they’re all so out.

--me

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