Psalm 1:23 PM

Every afternoon now
I walk to the corner of 59th
And Madison Avenue
In New York City.
Which is neither
Nor there.

Each time
I ask.

I ask the kebab guy,
The Uber driver,
The delivery man unloading
His truck,
This or that
Woman or man
Waiting for the light.

Of course they can’t hear me.
I ask myself too I guess.

Except I don’t really know
What my question is.
I want the world –
All the kebabs, cars, subway grates –
To make sense somehow.
I want to believe
That maybe one piece
Of life hangs together
With another.

“Everything is connected!”
You, my reader, just replied
In your head.
Of course. I say that too
Every day
In my head.

Why would you accept
Such an easy answer
That means so little?

I’m not interested in Truth.
Really just the kebab guy
And me,
And whoever walks by.
The light on sidewalk
Outside the shoe store.

Sure, OK,
I believe in kababs. I
Probably believe in you

And not getting run over
In the crosswalk.
That’s good.



For Wednesday Poetry Prompts

12 thoughts on “Psalm 1:23 PM

    1. Thank you thank you!! I knew there was a risk that I’d lose the reader early on, but hoped I could keep them in the game. Glad you stuck with it.


      1. I had the tab of your post open for a few hours and kept rereading in between doing other things so to appreciate the tone and atmosphere of the poem. You know that feeling of fullness one gets when one has seen, read or experienced something good? This poem has that.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Religious inquiry a la q! The… well, not stream so much as rapids of consciousness… or perhaps meander… Anyway, it pulls you along by the shirt collar. And you discover that not just you, the reader, but the kebab guy, too, is being taken on this walk. A questioning psalm. A doubter’s psalm? A pastoral New York City (oxymoronic) psalm. Life is hard, q, my man. Kebabs, perhaps, don’t connect after all.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. An interesting break from your normal style. More to say about it than I will likely undertake. The word ‘now’ in the opening line begs to be answered – as opposed to…? Ironic that you use Psalm 1 since it is about walking and thinking, too. Noticing the nod to Existential thought in the first stanza. The journey, also ironically, is one that looks down (sidewalk, crosswalk, shoes), since one category of Psalms looks upward. The musings of the poetic voice rejects easy answers but settles for an avoidance of pain/death in the end – again, irony. An echo, sadly enough, of much of our current culture, and well written. One question: Is there a difference between the two spellings of meat-on-a-stick? Intentional?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, just a typo on the spelling. Interesting about all the looking down instead of up, didn’t notice that. Yes, I thought it was a good difference from my usual writing. Not sure why it came out the way it did. Part of letting myself not know I guess. No resolution at the end, just decided to avoid obviously dumb outcomes like getting run over. Not an answer, just life hygiene as the minimum bar. Thanks for putting so much good thinking into your response!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Goodness, the Psalm 1 was unintentional. I had assumed that the reader’s eye would jump to the more obvious Psalm 23! Intersesting side effect. Verses 1-3 sort of work. But possibly a negative interpretation from the rest!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.