IMITATING LI BAI AT BUCKINGHAM POND
You ask why I chose to live in the city
I smile, know the answer, I am content
The cars hiss by my window
From my chair I can be anywhere I please.
The day is shaping up to be like a poem
by one of those “New York School” poets
only this is not Manhattan
the streets of Albany not so busy
I stop for breakfast at the new café, closer to my house
than anything remotely resembling “Midtown”
& watch Jason across the street walking
with his wife & son in summer shorts
A bit further down the street, the workers are in the Park
Judy, their boss, from undergrad days
arranging summer plants after her tulips are gone
& it is starting to cloud over, & I smell poets
among the ghosts of Tess’ charred & silent Lark Tavern
I meet Moses in front of the Daily Grind
he praises God for conjuring me up
like a sawbuck on the floor of the Library
I wonder what the folks at the tables outside
think of our conversation –
poetry & basketball & the cost of cigarettes
Coming back from the print shop I run into Sharkey
& we remark on the poets on the street, why
we both come downtown, & I get a hug from Lynn who is
Later at Chrisan’s cafe it’s busier across the street
I keep an eye on Victorio’s bike, wonder
if it will rain before the bus gets here, & if
Albany will ever be as famous as Manhattan.
BIO: Dan Wilcox is the host of the Third Thursday Poetry Night at the Social Justice Center in Albany, N.Y. and is a member of the poetry performance group "3 Guys from Albany". In 2019 he was named one the year’s three Literary Legends by the Albany Public Library Foundation.
He also publishes poetry under the imprint, A.P.D. (albany’s poetic device, another pleasant day, etc.). His own poems have been published in Post Traumatic Press 2007, Chronogram, Poetica and most recently in the anthology American Society: What Poets See, in other small press journals and anthologies, on the internet, as broadsides & in self-published chapbooks. His chapbook boundless abodes of Albany is available from Benevolent Bird Press of Delmar, NY. FootHills Publishing put out Gloucester Notes in 2015. You can read his Blog about the Albany poetry scene as well as a selection of his poems at https://dwlcx.blogspot.com/.