Poetry


Hollace Metzger


Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010



Central Station 00:38
Athens to London to Beauvais, 2007

Hollace Metzger


Punctured metal chairs
pushing into too many pairs
of tired thighs. Pigeons flying
across the room with only
as much as a single movement.
So much luggage,
such a small family.
Where are we all going?

Why is that decrepit, cross-
eyed man staring at me?
My body is black,
her skin is pale,
his hair is rotten,
our eyes are open.
A closed gate between us
and breakfast.
A closed ticket counter
leaving us all pushing
automated buttons
connecting to nowhere.
Closed shoulders,
crossed legs,
closed palms
once lifted to the sky.
Open doors,
cold wind,
hot lights.
Where are we all going
and why?

My nostrils filled with Athenian dust,
still tasting salt on my skin,
lifting a finger to my mouth.
Please, stop looking at me.
I’m trembling.
Poetic verse comes to mind
(in defense) while closing my eyes.
It’s comforting.
I see back-staged smiles,
naked flesh dipped in blue water,
rainbow-colored balls bouncing
and children playing
on memorialized warheads.
I see brothers embracing,
mothers nursing,
friends eating salty fish
under cotton canopies
warmed by sepia sunsets.
London is no longer cold.
Busses no longer pass.
It’s quiet again, like Piraeus.

“Swansea-Boarding, Gate Number 9”
Oxford, Gatwick, Gatwick,
Gatwick, Gatwick, Gatwick…
Then me, at three-twenty.
Cold, duotone stone, bolted
benches with too many screws,
British Telecom phones pretending
to be moonlight, elevators stuck
on unknown floors and half-eaten
meat cakes staring at me, laughing.
Have I lost my mind?
On which fluorescent light shall I
cast my wish upon tonight?
They say that many cubists
were “paranoid schizophrenics.”
This has always reassured me.
I see color in this collage.
I see French type-script headlines
from a montage, covering
the bare-footed diabetic man’s
head, tonight. I see half
a violin in the musician’s unzipped
guitar case. I see the
Sad Young Man on a Train
outside, masturbating under
a flashing orange streetlamp.
Time is standing still,
but it’s all just too fast.

Where are we all going
and why?


*****


Tuesday, November 24th, 2009



Finding Piece
Paris, 2009
Hollace Metzger

The piece that moderated
a dance, that hung
on a white wall
behind
the man who wore green
to match
jaded me.

The piece that made me odd
and when taken away,
caused me to be. Even

though

the blue sky I’d never seen,
promised by your flag
and its white symbol
of peace,
turned 45-degrees,
blocked my view
towards reality...

The piece of hair
I left there, with you,
that I knew you kept.

The peace found
beneath foreign horizons’
lonely tranquility.

Your piece,
dedicated to me.
Your peace
beside me,
inside me.
The piece
you left with me.
My peace
I tried to leave
with you
repeatedly.

The pieces of gold,
evaporating to humidity,
causing you to
remember me
underneath
your city’s recurring rainbow.

Pieces of Eight
countries,
nights on Round Tables,
days on square beds,
pieces lost,
peaces found
on invented
anniversaries.

Blessed be, your peace.

“Please, take this piece...”
a memory
of Saint Christopher,
“...and travel the world,”
he said to me.

Rest in peace.
You’d be proud of me

and of my peace,
found in pieces
I’ve kept
or learned to throw away
in parting.

 

*****


Vodka
Paris, 2009
Hollace Metzger

Tonight, the bourbon
got a little too thick.
Mixed mahogany and oak
tables and chairs
were replaced with
Rashid’s plastic.
Bread, blessing the table
above which
we had said Grace,
decomposed into truth
and lay there, a mound
of bleached cocaine,
scant when the wind came
before we could bring
ourselves to breathe
it
in.
The momentary silence
I had hoped would arrive
once we surmounted
the surprise of revived
purification, of nakedness
without its dirt, never came.

Sniff.

The unopened bottle
shouted out our names
between its broken seal.
Its clarity shone truth
beyond its purpose
and placement.
It moved, carefully
inching towards trembling
fingers as our seats fast-
ened beneath our torsos,
locking in perpendicularity
to fenestrated sunlight,
to the world defined
by frames panes,
not us to each other.
Our eyes glazed by thought,
our hands in our pockets-
We forgot that day.
We forgot what will be.
We forgot where we are going
and remembered
where we had been,
the night the bourbon
got a little too thick.

Hollace M. Metzger is an architect, poet, painter and photographer from New York where she ventured into writing and spoken word while working for both the deans of Yale and City University's architecture colleges. She is the author of Observing the Labyrinth from Heaven (2007-8), Transcriptions of Time, The Collected Poetic Works (2009), Why the Willow (2010) and author-vocalist of "Observing the Labyrinth form Heaven : Paris Recordings" (2008) and "TranSynPhony" (2010).

 

*****