we always think about what we did with our lives
and what did it get us.
for me I gained nothing more than musings at 3am
in a forgotten spot in a forgotten town.
I was always welcomed with the smell of stale coffee that hadn’t been brewed fresh since lunch merely ten hours before.
It wasn’t a friendly welcome but it was a welcoming.
here, in this small lit up space,
I found myself disappear into something else
No longer was I was person in a cubicle, answering phones,
submitting numbers into a tired system.
I was someone who although couldn’t beat insomnia,
I made it apart of my life.
I would learn about others
and mold myself from my own clay into something new.
I made it a point to learn from my tired mind and thoughts,
I made sure I made not sleeping soundly through the night worth it.
It was always somber; just a tear stained cheek away from being devastating;
I found my home here
in the lit up shop on the corner of Sullivan and Orchard;
Where I would always be greeted by the smell of stale coffee that hadn’t been brewed fresh since lunch merely ten hours before.
(an ekphrastic poem based on the painting Nighthawks by Edward Hopper)
doused in gold,
like moths to flame,
seek warmth from the cold.
Darkness leers, but harsh light shields
these lonely creatures from their feelings untold.
a waiter old,
and three weary visitors
are portrayed. The scene unfolds.
Most eat under the sunlight, unlike
these nighthawks who flocked from their households.
hearts like blindfolds;
nighthawks’ hearts aren’t exceptions.
The woman red and bold,
the man in shadows, and another
man with a cigarette in his hold
They are controlled
and defined by solitude.
They don’t belong. No mold
fits them. They only have a
diner, each other, and lonesome souls unconsoled.
Barnaby hands me my daily
cup of coffee, but this time, it's night
time, and the coffee reminds me of the war
but not the allies annihilating the Germans or Japanese
but the war between me and him every time
he confesses his love to me, the words pierce
through my heart
I will never love him as much as he loves
me, I'm disgusting
like the taste of the coffee
just beans in water.
I wrote this for my AP Lit class about the painting, Nighthawks, based off the girl in the red dress sitting with the man.
The Village was nearly swallowed by darkness,
Until I stumbled upon a fresh fluorescent light,
Emitting an eerie glow out of a subtle all-night diner.
Suddenly, eyeballs projected a noir-style movie.
This unique heaven lit a cemented pathway,
Which led toward nowhere but American desolation.
Exploration of blank stores was not an option;
A disconnected joint across the open street was obvious.
The cornered beacon called to me as if dreams lived,
Though the seamless wedge of glass deflected observation,
Onto the viewer I represented, isolated from the anonymous.
Lungs were not interested in Phillies, only graveyard shift.
The scene held four strangers shut in spacious congregation.
The figures filled in the white void with physical presence,
While each owl was remotely lost in their own thoughts.
Was it the tragedy that occurred at Pearl Harbor,
Possibly the hopelessness World War II offered?
Could it have been the disappearance of happy innocence in ’42?
Hopper alone can probably discover a whole to the loss of words.
Somehow the constructed simplicity was overwhelming:
When late night minds meet morosity yet still produces beauty.
Subjected into one, the loneliness of a large city can exist too.
— The End —