Count the seasons like leaves
          and they begin to fall. Meanwhile
          summer issues bank-loans of green
          and heat cooks cherries in the street-side carts
          as urine out of subway grates
          ferments into the streets, seeking open air
          the way the moneyed seek the coast.
          I can’t say anymore
          what promises waves repeat
          the bright container ships stapled to shore, what answers
          to give the glassed gods of ambition and commerce
          on Madison Avenue. I await illumination
          like a sudden spike in my spiritual stock price
          the way a clear day waits
          for rain—clouds lowering, coils of taxicabs
          lining the streets, their tire-treads
          turning reminders of all
          I haven’t accomplished, each traffic-jam
          a portent of the ways I might stray.
          So each morning your opposite wakes
          to what you’ve left behind, and the museum windows
          make kaleidoscopes ofpassers-by, blending skin and sky,
          asking if you’re sane? Let rain
          fall now like a cliché in a poem,
          soaking pedestrians and mingling
          the metal ions on the hull
          this speaker’s trapped beneath. Open the windows that latch
          the only minutes of his life
          and let him see for a moment
          the city not as panorama of self
          but a stranger story
          where the same particulars are playing:
          bellies of leaves breathing,
          the way the saplings pray to the cement;
          pores in the pavement yawning toward the moment
          as all sound in the city
          calm and lucid, packed into the eye of the storm–
          or is it the eye of the world–
          lifts and falls away.
 
 
 
 
 
JEREMY BASS’s poems and reviews have appeared in The Nation, Boston Review, The Los Angeles Review of Books, New England Review, Kenyon Review Online, and elsewhere. He is the recipient ofscholarships to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Summer Literary Seminars, and the 2011 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize. Jeremy is a guitarist and singer-songwriter based in Brooklyn and Los Angeles, and the music director and bandleader of the OBIE award-winning non-profit arts organization The Secret City (www.thesecretcity.org, www.jeremybassmusic.com).