no editor

Writing from a poetic standpoint–seeing events as metaphor and hearing dialogue as verse–isn’t always possible when I sit down to write, like now. Sometimes, the muse hasn’t arrived yet, but I know I want to and *should* write, just to keep the muscles from atrophying.

It is forecast to be above 50 degrees today, though the wind will bring it down to the mid-40s. No mind, I’ll try to get out on the board in Central Park, listen to William Orbit, feel the concrete beneath my wheels and the cool but warming air on my skin. I don’t want to leave a warm apartment but am always glad to be out there. Never disappointed after a session.

The birds are starting to be heard more frequently in the courtyard. In the “donut hole,” which is threatened by real estate development around town. “Town.” That’s what my parents called it in the 70s. That’s what “Town & Country” magazine calls it. Will “city”–as much as I love the future state of that idea and even the present energy of it–take away the donut hole and the sparrows, blue jays, cardinals and red-tailed hawks?

I am not going to edit this.



The red-tailed hawk on West 84th Street had babies recently.

One of our neighbors, who wears white T-shirts and has long stringy gray hair, and gray whiskers, caught Bennett and me on the street the other day as I was walking him to the corner to meet up with his friend Josh so that they could go to school together.

“Do you see her up there?” he asked us. “White feathers. And a red tail.”

I had thought that the red-tailed part was more of a moniker and less of something that was visible to all. I pointed Bennett to the fire escape on the 12th or so floor of the prewar building. 505 West End Avenue. The fire escape faces west, so when the hawk is caught in a breeze, you can see her white belly ruffle in the wind.

There was nothing so high in Manhattan as this building 400 years ago. Perhaps I console myself with that advantage to her, since–robbed of the island’s natural habitats–she and her babies are consigned to eating rats, most of which have been poisoned by unthinking landlords along our block and the surrounding area.