Peter David

I love the toward-set sunspill, slipped past silver, leaning into gold.

Category: Quotidian

Eating an Apple

I snatch a store-bought
‘Snack apple’ from the bowl,
Small, red, and tasteless
Like the ones on the tree I’d
Balance on a sloped sapling hand-rail
Stuck in cement stairs on
Our hill to pluck from, but
Without the dusty taste I loved,
Though, yes, so deeply hued.

A bite: brown veins cut
Through the meat.
Mud-soft craters to the stem.

For some reason, all my third grade classmates
Are watching, suddenly, at red lunch recess tables.
They scream and laugh, and the tallest kid
In class, a orange-haired girl who swoons for Spice Girls,
Standing on my picnic bench, grabs
My apple with an “Ew!” and throws it in a bush.
The classmates congratulate her and me
On our near escape from imperfection, mush, and shame
And eat their Cheetos, grinning broad.

Here, in great-grandma Marion’s
Pea-green creaky chair,
Looking at my yard, I grin
And keep on biting.


Three Things

One. Driving Toward the Sunset.

I grew up in Pacifica, where watching the sunset meant going somewhere and stopping.  We had to.  The water starts a mile away, we weren’t into kayaks, and haven’t yet become holy enough for the whole walking-on-water stunt, waves or no. Now, I love going somewhere and stopping to see the sunset.  There’s quite a bit to see (that’s kind of the point), and the focus afforded by a fixed location is quite valuable.  But.  Two days ago I became consciously aware of the distinct and magnificent pleasure of watching the sunset while driving toward it.  (I’m vaguely ashamed that this is the first time I can recall noticing it after five years in L.A.  *Must pay more attention to everything.)  Bends and curves in the road became facilitators of that dependable intensification strategy: the hide-reveal-hide-reveal-hide-hide-slow reveal.  All the fun of strong contrast heightened by the use of negation itself as one of the binaries!  And when one gets to hilly bits, the ground starts to seem less secure than the emblazoned welkin (pardon my language) above’t.

Two. Paradigmatic Colors: Incarnate!

Yesterday, the color of the trees and sky here could have been taken out of a sheaf of construction paper or a basic box of crayons.  They were the colors of children’s drawings and of everyone’s ideas “tree” and “sky.”  What!?

Happy subsequent (re-)realization: the correspondence of real stuff and personal idea(l)s is one of our chief-est-er-est-er-li-est pleasures.  Hooplay!  Unhappy subsequent realization:  This correspondence was stand-out-ish-ly significant to me, so my visual paradigms must not correspond to reality very often or well.  Hm.

Three. Jazz is Yellow.

I know this because as I was driving back from work yesterday, I turned on the jazz station.  As soon as the music started and without my willful instigation, I was suddenly and powerfully more conscious of the color yellow everywhere.  In sprinklers.  On walls.  In trees.  In the speckles that show up on earlyish- or lateish-lit asphalt.  My conclusion: Jazz is yellow.  Except when it’s blue.  Rebecca reminded me while at work today that it’s very blue.  Rhapsodically blue.

Also, jazz may be characterized by boxy shapes with rounded edges, because that’s what I noticed this morning when I turned it on.  I’m suspicious, however, of the suggestion; I may have been trying to recreate yesterday’s revelation.  I think I was.  Hm.