Sample Poems by Kirby
Christmas at Rockefeller Center
I, too, dislike it: the requisite Norwegian Spruce,
hanging of 30,000 ornaments, the mad search
through Saks for the perfect gift. Stuffing
with stuffing. Dressing in scarves and mittens,
venturing out to see the manger at
wooden animals, wooden Jesus, red poinsettias.
The city walks together,
walks and looks.
There is caroling in whitened streets-some hold
a candle in one hand,
some the hand of a child.
I point out the Swarovski star atop the tree,
else haunts the scene-a ghost.
Her gypsy resolve beneath five vintage coats,
clothing and shopping bags,
she is a department store that failed,
lying in the pew with an
Eastern European scarf.
Thirty-five feet in radius, the wide berth of her
What mystery is in the shopping bags?
Where are her mother and father? Does she
of childhood in a Polish village? In her
we discover, after all, a place for the
with the infinite
that our millennium
or that she's
with the mayor
or that she's
with the school board
Particulars from a Doorman
Snow floats about in flakes,
the head of the Statue of Liberty,
about Times Square and the George
and in Brooklyn's Prospect Park:
confetti to celebrate the New
As I drink decaf coffee
in the Times Square Marriott, I do
crossword, and wonder where
the stars such as Bob and Bing
have gone, where the
of Central Park and the swans
of Prospect, as snows
accumulate on the
I ask the doorman. Snow accretion
is removed by administrative fiat,
he says, as
beeping yellow trucks take it to the melters.
Trecan Snow Melters cost a half
They can handle eighty tons of snow in an hour.
The melters are less
delicate, I think,
than the lettering on an Oreo cookie,
or the elegant curves of the metal
on a fire engine,
an index finger in a cool glass of milk,
a model's arm along a walnut
the quiet of a thread falling in a museum.
As the noisy machines melt the
they push it down the alabaster sewers to treat it,
before releasing it back into the
Sixty melters can clear a blizzard in one night:
giving us a New Year's Day that
starts out right.
Beauty's a woman
with a triple nose piercing
in a battered
Outside Family Dollar
she waits while her 18-year-old
runs in to buy her a pack of Salem Lights.
He comes back out, thirteen
She digs in her purse, finds a quarter
with green gum stuck on
then feeds organic mango sauce
to the baby she couldn't bear
"Poetry is the mother tongue of the human race."
The bus crawls through burbs.
Hungry from fasting.
I read Hamann,
blow bubbles, sleep.
Couples talk about France,
The bus stinks,
I sleep in engine
snores, wake up
three miles past my