Pigeon on the Sidewalk

I saw a dead pigeon on the sidewalk while walking to work yesterday. I moved around it, heading along Fayette Street toward Salina. But I decided to turn around and come back to the scene and observe the dead bird.

Dead pigeon on the sidewalk. Photo by Francis DiClemente.

I also snapped a picture—my motivation being I wanted to capture an image of the lifeless form as a reminder to myself that my time on earth is limited, that death awaits me. We can’t escape mortality. In one way or another, we all become pigeons splayed on the sidewalk. And while it’s a sobering thought, it helps me to value the life I get to live today.

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Insomnia Poem

A bout of insomnia last night produced a short poem. At 3 a.m., my five-year-old son Colin and I were both wide awake. While he squirmed and rolled around in bed, I covered up to prevent getting struck by his flailing elbows and knees. And in the early morning darkness, these words came to me:

Manifesto for Dejected Artists

To create is to make something
that did not exist before—
something no one requested
and something the world
does not want or need.

And yet, you decided
to make it anyway.
So now it’s here for others
to accept or reject.
Either way, your job is done.

And I have realized from experience that if some lines, words, thoughts, characters or plots float in my head when I’m in bed, that I must jot down the ideas immediately or I will forget them upon awakening.

And on a totally unrelated note, here is a photo of Colin holding his pre-K diploma, which he received on the last day of school on Thursday.

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A Camus Quote

I am currently reading Albert Camus’s Notebooks 1935-1942, and I found this little piece of wisdom from the section May 1935 to September 1937. I thought it was worth sharing, and I hope you find some value in the words.

“One must not cut oneself off from the world. No one who lives in the sunlight makes a failure of his life. My whole effort, whatever the situation, misfortune or disillusion, must be to make contact again. But even within this sadness I feel a great leap of joy and a great desire to love simply at the sight of a hill against the evening sky.”

Camus, Albert. Notebooks 1935-1942. Paris: Editions Gallimard, 1962. Ivan R. Dee, Translation, Reprint Edition, 2010.

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A Sunday Poem

Sunday Malaise

The August sunlight
entering the room
cannot quell
the dreary feeling that
overcomes me every Sunday.
Lying in my bed,
listening to Brahms,
while trying to take a nap
to fill the afternoon.
Waking up later,
the room shrouded in darkness,
with the day erased,
bringing me hours closer
to Monday morning,
and a reset of the week—
safe from harm:
Sunday still far away.

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Life is an Ice Cream Truck Parked on the Street

While waiting for the CVS store to open this morning, I saw a Perry’s Ice Cream truck parked on the side of the street. The wording on the side of the truck read, “LIFE IS A BOWL OF PERRY’S ICE CREAM.”

Ice cream truck. Photo by Francis DiClemente.

The statement seemed like an invitation, or a conversation starter.

In my head I took the first two words— LIFE IS—and filled in the blanks. The result is my stream-of-consciousness list:

Life is blissful.
Life is finite.
Life is fleeting.
Life is futile.
Life is wonderful.
Life is hysterical.
Life is sorrowful.
Life is bland.
Life is fine.
Life is OK, sometimes.
Life is full of laughs.
Life is a pain in the ass.
Life is what you make it.
Life is all we’ve got.
Life is a gift we’re given.
Life is something we take for granted.

How would you fill in the blanks?

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Kindle Countdown Deal

I just wanted to let people know that I am running a Kindle Countdown Deal on Amazon for the ebook version of my poetry collection Outward Arrangements. It runs until May 11 and the price is $.99.

Outward Arrangements Cover

And the Goodreads Giveaway ends on May 9. You can enter the giveaway here.

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Spring Snow

A blast of spring snow hit Central New York last night. And guess who the idiot is who transplanted the shovels and snow brushes from the backseat to the storage unit miles away? I should have known winter isn’t done with Syracuse even when the calendar turns to spring. Next year I’ll wait until late May before putting away the snow utensils.

Snow covering my Honda CR-V. Photo by Francis DiClemente.

Snow behind my apartment building dumpster. Photo by Francis DiClemente.

The snow reminds me of a very short poem I wrote. It seems fitting for today.

Leaving Syracuse

The grass may not
be greener,
but at least
it won’t be
covered with snow.

Snow covering grass. Photo by Francis DiClemente.

 

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