Nine floors

“We commonly do not remember that it is, after all, always the first person that is speaking.”—Thoreau

Nine floors below me
A moth flirts with a streetlamp—
Two more cigarettes.

—四条堀川、京都 Midnight  11.21.2010

About these ads

4 Responses to “Nine floors”

  1. Thanks, Mark, for this. I changed the tag from ‘poem’ to ‘haiku’, as I believe it really is one. It has a nice break after the second line and is shaped 5-7-5, though that itself does not guarantee the haiku category. I enjoyed the unusual perspective of a moth at about second-floor height from a further seven floors up – very vivid – but was slightly puzzled by the ‘me’ (definitely the first person) with ‘two cigarettes’. Are you a late-night chain smoker, or was there a second smoker at hand? It really makes one think. I once wrote a haiku about a woman in Edinburgh with a fag in each hand! This surely has some of the ‘ma’ 間 of haiku.

  2. Hi Tito,

    It was me alone. And it is a question of duration: I smoked two cigarettes once I noticed the moth, watching him the while, for indeed he played about the lamp that long; but the dim light of a fag 7 floors up can’t compete with halogen. The moth didn’t rise to the occasion. So I was merely the melancholy observer, noting also the taxi-cabs and their politesse.

    Mark

  3. David Sinex Says:

    It’s a nicely written poem. I also like the way you managed the 5-7-5 without filler words, or stretching English syntax. One other thing that struck was the nine-floors-down: You must have very good eyesight.

  4. Thank you, David. As to eyesight: I wear a nice set of bifocals. They clear everything up.

    Mark

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 420 other followers

%d bloggers like this: