Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A long poem on stairs

I like a good stairwell.
I like to climb them.
I like to descend them.
I like to experience them.

I like a good stairwell.
One which twists and turns.
One with pleasing rails fit just so for my hand.
I like a stairwell that echos.
that takes my few hummed notes,
sucks them up and spits them back out as a full song.

I like a stairwell made of polished wood.
A stairwell that speaks of the epitome of good breeding.
I like a pure-bred stairwell.

I like a stairwell with gum and questionable stains
and cigarette butts in the corner.
A stairwell who's end is both intriguing and terrifying.
A stairwell that seems to lurk, who's shadows seem suspicious.
I like a trashy stairwell.

I like a stairwell that curves smoothly around
in an endless spiral a light house or a loft.

I like a stairwell that's boxy and awkward,
like a gangly child - a parking garage, a dorm.

I like a stairwell with many landings,
covered in pots of flowers so that each flight is separate,
with a garden in between.

I like a stairwell that goes straight up,
inspiring groans of dismay to those at the bottom,
and childish pride in those at the top.

I like the stairs that lead up to the memorial of Abraham Lincoln.
A large flight of steps, with good ole Abe sitting at the top.
His giant size makes the stairs look small,
and so he deceives you in death as he never did in life.

I like the stairs connecting two little back roads in Cincinnati,
which when you stand at the top look ordinary enough,
but when you stand at the bottom you can see
a design painted onto each of the risers so that it comes together to form a picture.

I like the stairs painted onto a building in downtown Cincinnati,
stairs painted so convincingly that more than once
a young child has run smack into the building.
A few adults have come close too.

I like the stairs that I have read about in books.

Stairs like the external stairs of Balors Needle,
who's rusted steps were nearly the death of the young squire Keladry.
Or the staircases of a certain king of the Enchanted Forrest.
Who was so fond of sweeping majestically up and down stairs
in long robes that he built a plethora of stairways,
some of which lead no where at all.
Or the stairs which took Frodo and Sam up to Mordor.
Or the stair carved inside a tree that housed a young Merlin.

I like the stairwell that connects Liberty Hill to Reading Rd
which is overgrown and hardly any sane person uses.
It always smells of diapers and is covered with broken bottles.
I take these stairs to reach the number 43 Reading Rd bus,
and always feel a thrill of fear that this might be the time
I am killed by some drunk hiding in the surrounding woods.
This is my adrenaline rush
because I don't like roller coasters.

I like the memories that live on in stairwells,

Like the stairs in a certain hall in Ponca City, Oklahoma,
in which I have never been,
but in which my parents had their wedding reception,
and on which my mother had a picture taken in her white gown,
with her train sweeping grandly behind her.

Or the stairwell that I walked down with friends
on a quite, sunny day freshman year,
and at the bottom found my first job in Cincinnati,
cleaning for a lady.

Or the stairwells in the girls dorm,
which threatened to plunge anyone running
late to class in heels to their deaths.
I wrote an ode to those stairs freshmen year,
it was an ode of loathing.
But now that I have been gone from there a few years,
I begin to miss everything, even the stairs.

And so I find myself sitting hear on this rainy night,
on a dirty stairwell thinking of all the stairwells I have known,
and some that I haven't,
and of which ones I liked.
And I find that I have liked them all.

I like a good stairwell.
I like to climb them.
I like to descend them.
I like to experience them.

1 comment:

  1. hmmm...I'm reminding you of this come moving day!

    ReplyDelete

Irreversable

half a league half a league half a league onward. . . a wind which whips the puddles dry. . .my friend you would not tell with such high zest. . . here where the world is silent. . .he took his vorpal sword in hand. . .nothing beside remains. . .the sun was shining on the sea. . . all the kings horses and all the kings men . . . lives of great men all remind us. . .

Once uttered, the words can't be unsaid
Once thought, a thoughts un-unthinkable
The written word can't be unread
A dream, once dreamt is unsinkable

So exposed our lives are filled
With a richness incomparable,
Which in time will always yeild
A damage unrepairable.

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