August 12, 2015

Myra Shapiro

IN A ROOM AT THE MARRIOTT MARQUIS

To die
in Times Square
is a fact to contemplate
since I am old and here
on 44th Street in a vast hotel
40 floors above the earth

(only there is no earth
visible). Concrete giants
(having gobbled land) stand
planted like Nature. 

A slim body of water,
a shoulder of the Hudson,
lies west, and a ferry
is making its way

away from here
where yolk-yellow taxis
stream in a valley below,
and enormous voices/bodies
eager to be seen/heard hawk

Mama Mia, Toshiba, Jersey Boys
Buy me, look Here, no, Here, Here!

where
tucked in, aslant,
a radiant red staircase rises
to seat you,
to fix you
like a star—

There is no death! Wake up!

from Rattle #48, Summer 2015
Tribute to New Yorkers

[download audio]

__________

Myra Shapiro: “I was born in the Bronx but my father moved us to a little town in Georgia ‘to make a buck’ when I was ten, so I spent years longing for the City that fit me: the way I spoke (a mix of immigrant rhythms and no-nonsense directness), buildings that held me close, lit-up windows that warmed me. In 1981, I started subletting apartments and I’m still here.”