City Without Smoke
June 22, 2015
Over Manhattan island when gales subside
Inhuman colors of ocean afternoons
Luminously livid, tear the sky so wide
The exposed city looks like deserted dunes.
Peering out to the street New Yorkers in saloons
Identify the smokeless moment outside
Like a subway stop where one no longer stirs. Soon
This oceanic gracefulness will have died.
For to city people the smudgy film of smoke
Is reassuring like an office, it’s sociable
Like money, it gives the sky a furnished look
That makes disaster domestic, negotiable.
Nothing to help society in the sky’s grace
Except that each looks at it with his mortal face.
Revisiting the generative words of Edwin Denby, a main inspiration behind PLATFORM 2015: Dancers, Buildings and People in the Streets, on this decidedly un-smoggy summer day in NYC.