• August 1, 2015
This summer several friends and I are liberating the creative writer within by making and sending short stories and poems back and forth. More significantly, we are discovering the rich literary culture Rochester has to offer. Writers and Books, Rochester Poets, the Rochester Literary Festival, poetry readings, slams and open mic nights, writers discussion meetups, talks, lectures, author visits. And in the Fall a flurry of activity at the local colleges and universities. The list seemingly inexhaustible.
If I may, I’d like to share one poem (by good fortune a different version published in August, below). For a reason. While taking much poetic license, the two on a bicycle characters are loosely based on a real life couple who I imagine as a metaphor for ideal love. For years now, I have seen the same two people riding on one bicycle, she in front, he in back. Fairly often I pass them on well traveled routes, the Canal Path, the Lehigh Valley Trail, the Greenway Trail, etc. The couple literally is everywhere.
My question to you — the legions of fellow cyclists who so enjoy those paths — have you ever encountered the two on a rickety bicycle?
See the published poem in the-criterion.com/V6/n4/David.pdf (August 2015) The Criterion: An International Journal in English.
Two on a Rickety Bicycle
Hey, thanks. Let me show you the house.
The ruse of the forgotten pen.
From when they exchanged numbers that evening at Jeremiahs.
Her children now at home with her sister
Eating Reeses and Nestles Crunch.
Look, seniorita, a Cuban flag bought last August
When Obama established diplomatic ties.
Going to fly it right next to the American flag
On Independence Day.
Back to a certain chair,
Her on my lap,
Leftover Halloween candy,
In a bowl on the table.
* * *
The Healthy Relationships Seminar done.
Skylarking home on the Canal Path
Under a purple evening sky
Making purple water.
The same two as before and before.
Her gangly with glasses, in back.
She, perched almost on his lap, in front.
Pleasant, short, more plain than not.
The same couple, for years now, swooning and looping
The Canal Path, the Lehigh Valley Trail, the Genesee Parkway,
Riverside and inland.
He whispering to her in Chinese
Or Talagog. Or Esperanto.
Or is it even words?
The single encounter at the municipal tennis courts
That is not me watching them on their bicycle.
The cheap used yard sale rackets,
The found balls fuzzless and soggy,
Black socks and Walmart tennis shoes.
The returned stare as blank as this page before I started.
“Do you go to school here?”
We grew up in China
My husband grad student in Electric Engineering
Live in Whipple Park.
Back to forehands and backhands
Plinking into the net.
Funny, she and I never have played tennis like that
The way we talked about.
see previously published in The Criterion, “A Period of Mutually Agreed Upon Reflection” (June 2015) the-criterion.com/V6/n3/David.pdf