Some Books I’ve Found on the Streets of Brooklyn

Berlin Alexanderplatz (Döblin)
Selected Works (Cicero)
On the Good Life (Cicero)
The Information (Martin Amis)
Sorrows of Young Werther (Goethe)
The Pat Hobby Stories (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
Selected Poems (T.S Eliot)
A Streetcar Named Desire (Tennessee Williams)
Death of a Salesman (Arthur Miller)
The King of the Fields (Isaac Bashevis Singer)
The Recognitions (William Gaddis)
Dracula (Bram Stoker)
Magic Mountain (Thomas Mann)
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (James Joyce)
Scarlet and Black (Stendhal)
Selected Poetry (Byron)
Jerusalem, Selected Poetry and Prose (William Blake)
The Collected Poetry of W.H. Auden
Complete Poems and Selected Letters of John Keats
The Art of War (Sun Tzu)
This Way for the Gas Ladies and Gentlemen (Tadeusz Borowski)
The Hero with a Thousand Faces (Joseph Campbell)
For Whom the Bell Tolls (Ernest Hemingway)
The Tenants (Bernard Malmud)
The Grifters (Jim Thompson)
The Fuck-up (Arthur Neresian)
The Outsider (Colin Wilson)
And the Ass Saw the Angel (Nick Cave)


Industrial Haiku No. 5

Gutted bus with
ripped out seats beside it
sun sets behind the water tower

Industrial Haiku No. 4

Trophies in the garbage
spring cleaning means
scrapping trinkets of victory

Ninth Street Bridge Vista

The Ninth Street Bridge and its environs is a hallowed spot, a signature corner of Brooklyn where industry and transit converge in a dramatic way. (The picture above was taken from the platform of the Smith and 9th subway stop, the city’s tallest.)

The Ninth Street Bridge vista is at once bleak and majestic, an intoxicating mixture of everything I find wondrous about Brooklyn. When I first gazed upon this panorama, I felt the pulse of the sublime coursing through me and I actually swooned. Such breathtaking grittiness defines Brooklyn's mystique.

This panorama is dense with contradictions. It's a cold industrial landscape, yet also it pulsates with a warm neighborhood charm. The area radiates harmony, yet discord is right on the surface. The factories whose smokestacks and storage silos dominate the landscape are symbols of the past over which hangs an air of doom. These hulking relics of tangibility seem exotic compared to the gleaming towers downtown housing the apparatus of the ethereal new economy.