Word on the street


Make text smaller Make text larger





Ambedo On Broadway: a sestina

You: a netsuke with eyes of amber,

a language I long to master.

We’re ambling down the length of Broadway

pausing in Chinatown to listen: an erhu

whining, haunting. On the dumpling

trail again: I’m overcome.

These days I’m so easily overcome

often trapped like a wasp in amber

with every taste bud firing. Dumpling

of my dreams, I don’t want to master

my response to you, I am an erhu:

one string vibrating on Broadway.

Yellow taxis stream down Broadway,

a waterfall, I feel it, I’m overcome,

my nerves twanging like an erhu,

we’re crossing a river of amber

and dopamine. I’ve become a master

sinking my teeth into another dumpling

not just any dumpling, but a soup dumpling,

the kind you nibble and then slurp on Broadway:

a difficult skill, or you burn your tongue, master

it and you will be often flayed, overcome

with sensation, overwhelmed, amber

salty liquid speaking like an erhu,

telling you this life is good, an erhu

singing its one-note song about a dumpling,

uniting your senses into synesthesia, amber

light suffusing your being on Broadway,

numbers becoming colors, becoming overcome

now you know what the haiku master

hinted at, a haunting fragility, master

of the melancholic trance that the erhu

can pull you into, senses overcome

by a swirl of cream in coffee, a dumpling

releasing its steam, the flow of traffic on Broadway,

the flickering of ginkgo leaves, an amber

dawn, an obscure sorrow to fix in amber,

to feel forever this ambedo on Broadway,

you and I on this trail of the dumpling.

Originally from Minnesota, Julie Hart has lived in London, Zurich and Tokyo and now in Brooklyn Heights. Her work can be found in PANK Magazine, The Rumpus, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Poets Anthology and at juliehartwrites.com. She is a founder with Mirielle Clifford and Emily Blair of the poetry collective Sweet Action.





Make text smaller Make text larger

Comments



MUST READ NEWS

Image Homeless for the holidays
Complicated stories that defy expectations — and resources to help the most desperate in their times of need
Image Holiday package boom
How residential buildings are adjusting to the new normal of online shopping
Image EXCLUSIVE: Two fabled UES churches sold
“Bedpan Alley” marches north into Yorkville as a medical school buys a religious institution — which turns around and purchases another church
Image A shifting landscape
From the Brooklyn Navy Yard to the outskirts of Rome, Pamela Talese captures stories of cities in transition on canvas
Image An author and his alma mater
For Tom Barbash, life is what happened when he returned to Dwight

VIDEOS



Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Neighborhood Newsletters





MOST READ

Local News
EXCLUSIVE: Two fabled UES churches sold
  • Dec 17, 2018
Local News
Birdland spreads its wings
  • Dec 14, 2018
Local News
Goodwill store on West 79th to close
  • Dec 14, 2018
Local News
Tribeca’s P.S. 150 dodges eviction
  • Dec 10, 2018
Local News
Doors of Manhattan
  • Dec 17, 2018

MOST COMMENTED