UKArchive ID: 35874A long way from New York by
Originally published on November 27, 2015 in Poetry        

Written for a 'Where were you when...' prompt.

A long way from New York

2001 but not the movie with
a slow spinning space ship and mysterious
black blocks
floating. The TV is showing a disaster film with
buildings broken and people falling
down. I can’t look and can’t not look at
the teak-surround tube that squats like a demon.

Outside the hotel window, Orlando
carries on spinning and flashing. Mickey
Mouse prances happily with a fixed smile and
big hands. The phone in our room rings ‘are you all alright?’
she said. ‘Yes we’re a long way from New York.’

The pool is a calm sea and the sun seems too close, making
sharp black edges and dark corners to
hide in. Is there anyone there? No
but there could be, like the strangers hidden on
the planes.

A photo of Buzz Lightyear is standing next
to the bed; his arm draped around a happy-but-hot boy. I wish
he was here but he’s gone beyond, to infinity I think.
My child is playing with Lego on a carpet that has seen
better days. I go
to the bathroom, pull the cord and face the mirror surrounded by lights.

© (odd1 on OLD UKA)
UKArchive ID: 35874
Archived comments for A long way from New York
Mikeverdi on 27-11-2015
A long way from New York
Excellent, I like this very much. Maybe use more of this style in your travelling piece.

Author's Reply:
Thanks For reading again Mike...glad you liked it.

franciman on 27-11-2015
A long way from New York
Hi there,
This is chilling. Detachment and engagement compete throughout the piece. The irony is as much in the title as it is in the poetry. Does what great poetry always does - paints mankind small and leaves the reader to face the uncomfortable visions. Sublime verse.

Author's Reply:
Thank you for the rating and your kind comments.

gwirionedd on 28-11-2015
A long way from New York
I thought you were a young 'un, studying at university... but you have a now-teenage child?

I was 21 when this happened. About to start my second year at uni. My mate phoned me up and said, "Turn on the telly. Just turn on the telly." When I did, and the picture fuzzed into view, all I could see at first was a caption saying that one of the twin towers of something or other had collapsed. My first thought was "Shit, what's happened to Wembley Stadium?"

Insane, insane day...

Author's Reply:
I know...its still vivid to me now. And yes I am a mature student with a son of 21!