9. winter

A steady cold, grey day. The kind of weather that makes it easy to hide indoors— maintaining one’s already established existence as an introvert. The internal editor in high drive, continually questioning diction and selection of imagery. I would rather be crafting an elaborate labyrinth of a poem with angular enjambments, sudden twisting of metaphor. But instead I argue with word choice and tone. Every action generating—

and the fact that Billie Holiday is on the radio doesn’t help, her voice motioning within a slow lounge number, within an elaborate control of mood. Generating a scene that deserves to be incoporated into a larger work: eclectic patterns and clipped syllables. Dated references and thrown-back allusions to past film noir, a bar choked with blue cigarette smoke, shot glasses set in a row along the counter as the bartender sweeps the marble tiles at the back tables; there are only a handful of clienteles at the moment, in particular a young woman with her coarse winter coat flung over her shoulders as she leans forward, her gin and tonic half finished, her focus concentrated on the middle ground, trying to find her background story, find her point in the paragraph as late afternoon traffic slips outside the neon barfront, as she slips her a strand of hair behind her ear, the ice in her drink blurring with alcohol and the dark lipstick stains across the rim, shades of evening or the addict’s loose jacket in the back alley, his frame rocking forward and back, forward and back, that familiar pulse of his blue twilight settling between his arms, surging into his lungs a steady—