>waxing the edge of benches


When the director of our art museum came out of the building to approach him, he assumed he was in trouble.

Skateboarding + Art Museum = Trouble.
The art director told the skateboarder he had been watching.  Did he know much about art? The skateboarder shook his head no. “Your skateboard moves as if it were a paintbrush. Watching you is like watching a master’s brush strokes in 3D motion.”
I remind myself of this story when I realize (belatedly) that I’ve allowed myself a narrow view on whatever is going on (or not going on) in my life. I’m not fond of what skateboarding does to public property, that is true. And I’ve seen enough harm go down at the skate parks. That’s true, too. And, knowing the above skateboarder and his father quite well at one time in my life, I also have become acquianted with the many manifestations in which *harm* can present itself. But
lately, when I leave my house to drive to work, I often cross paths with a young girl skateboarding her way to the bus stop up and around the corner. While she hasn’t the grace and agility of the skateboarder at the art museum, I’ve learned instead to watch her face as she scoots her way down the street. Everything about her tells me she is hiding out. Dark clothes, hair hanging in her face, that sort of stuff. But when she’s on her skateboard, her face comes alive. I don’t think she realizes this.

When you cry- you cry smaller, grind
longer rails. Do you know why
sunflowers turn away when you wax
against their sun? You’d pop-shove
along Greyhound curbs for a ticket
to the coast. So you say. A box of Pacific
sand in your father’s trunk, Burnside papers,
that one picture of your Mom. Everything you hate
rides with you when you run. Stay
and meet yourself- you were agile,
graceful like a Sunday born
in June, the little boy left alone
without a captain’s mask. I see this
when you grind, when you standflip,
when I won’t post your bond.

(Photos belong to the skateboarder’s father who doesn’t know I lifted and cropped them.)


About redmitten

author of Cracking Geodes Open, Making Good Use of August, and The Peppermint Bottle. poetry editor for IthacaLit. website: https://toomuchaugust.wordpress.com

3 responses to “>waxing the edge of benches

  1. >I'm so glad you are a sneak. Those are wonderful bricks. How does he do that?What a cool poem. How did you pick up all the skateboarding lingo? From the girl or the father?

  2. >Thankyou for your kind comment about my blog. I have to be quite honest with you, I am not much of a 'modern' poetry reader but since I've discovered your blog, I truely love the way you can express these wonderful subjects in life. I look forward to reading them, sometimes several times over. Cheers…

  3. >kass- when you sneak for unselfish reasons, i think sneaking is a wonderful art. the bricks are from some photography work he did in the LA area. his son was deep into skateboarding back when we were a blended family. so fluid and agile. power and tenderness all in one, when he was on the skateboard. kerry, what a wonderful compliment. i didn't think that i liked poetry until a couple years ago when i accidentally started writing poetry and stumbled onto a journey that has led me to good poets and their poetry. that is so great to hear you look forward to reading the poems. i am never sure if what i share is shareable. cheers to you, too.

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