LA | NY A Special Edition of The East Village

Wanda Phipps

morning poem #45

a David died
but which one
they called
to tell me
they mentioned
the title of his book
I didn't want to go
to the memorial
I didn't want to cry

which David was it
the one who'd
just got back
from Japan
the one who
owned the rare
or the editor
not the poet?

there was
a tour guide
with a huge glowing
multi-colored wand
pointing out
architectural details
to a huge crowd
bussed in from
the burbs perhaps

ran into the violinist
on her bike
on her way home
from her power
pop rehearsal
we talked about
her Austrian lover
just outside the cybercafe
where I'd just missed
the Klezmer concert
after catching the tail end
of the book party
for a filmmaker
who also writes poetry
but in his native tongue
and I don't remember
which language that is
but the book was translated
by another poet

and also at the party
was a fiction writer
I hadn't seen in years
a petite pert redhead
married to a Japanese artist
I remember his
big white voluminous
participatory public
sculptures & her story
about cigarettes
or rather the people
who smoke them

wandered around
my newly old neighborhood
having it seem
foreign to me now
as I made my way
northwest to my
new Chelsea digs
nearly deserted
very dark wide
avenues late at night
ran into angel
on the corner

and now
I'm in the middle
feeling at home
neither here
nor there
knowing someone
but never feeling
quite at ease
or ever knowing
which David it was
that died