Coney Island Sunday


 

& walking along, Hitchcock didn’t come to mind once, but I couldn’t stop thinking of Paul Blackburn‘s strange fixation on gulls, his “never look a gull in the eye,” and his 1949/1951 poem which I’ll take the liberty of reproducing below:

 

THE BIRDS

I want them to come here
I want to see them here
at this round boulder.
                White spots against the sky, each
                there, a swollen white spike on each
of the line of rotten piles that reach
                out from shore.
Others skim the sea, strange
cries, wings flapping
                I want to see them here
                I want them to come here.                 I
swim my mind, swim it
in the moving water of all my world
        in moving clouds
                in sun.

                And I was young
and neck began to wobble clear, but feet
        were rooted in this beach, for I
feared the dark march to the sun again; and each
stiff inner motion moved me into song
                instead of into living:
but now I know what thing is worth the having
and fear the imperfection in my singing; but now
can lie here and swim my mind in it
                and still know when to leave
                touch bottom to darkness where
I no longer fear to ask much of the gods.
        It has taken me a long time to realise
I want them to come here
I want to see them here.

 

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