Monday, September 20, 2010

Day One of Beauty Breathes: The Beauty Sit

Day One of Beauty Breathes: The Beauty Sit

Today we sat on the porch of Fremont Coffee and wrote down what we saw as beautiful. A young girl's purple coat with a pink scarf and aqua trim. A brilliant robins-egg blue door against dirty cream aluminum siding. A curly-haired man with gorgeous cheekbones, who walked by us, then drove off across the street in a sleek cherry-red convertible. The backs of a row of newspaper boxes, chained together, dented and lightly graffited: blue red yellow green white black. A smiling girl with a blue felt whale stitched on her messenger bag. My friend Dana's epic boots, and my epic friend Dana herself. Green foliage against red-brown brick, hanging across the doorway of a pub like bangs. The feel of the fall cold deepening and blowing across my cheek. The smell of burnt chocolate and coffee. A fuchsia coat. A single wilting pink flower in a huge gray stone planter. A dun-colored building with a small window on the left, a large window on the right, and no windows in between. Moss spilling down a tree trunk. A nest of wet and blackened tree roots. Friends in walking in pairs.

Sitting there, I found that I constantly wanted to shift perspectives, to move to Dana's seat or even across the street, where I thought maybe there were something new I would see; something I was missing. It was hard to just sit still, exactly where I was, and just keep noticing what was in front of me, without trying to immediately to shift into a new view, the next thing.

--Kristen McHenry

1 comment:

Frank Moraes said...

Didn't you say something about not wanting to write prose poems? Well the first paragraph is a beautiful prose poem (one that breathes—ha ha). It even has a narrative flow. I quite liked it. And didn't, because you write so well so often that it offends me. Admittedly, I am a writer and a reader because it is hard for me. Otherwise, I would spend all my time on mathematical logic and abstract algebra. I suppose this is all like my relationship with art. I can't draw anything beyond a game of hang-man, but I really can appreciate great art. And this is great writing.

And then you hurry away with a dashed off second paragraph. I know what you are going for. It isn't bad. But you know the effect: you've just heard a great performance of Beethoven's 9th and then Van Cliburn plays Fur Elise. Sure, Van Cliburn is great, but it's gonna be disappointing.

And now you're really gonna hope my heart valve bursts! Stop that man! He may comment again!