The Gutter of New York- de Kooning

by Carolyn Gelland

The gutter of New York grounded me
that’s my kind of space.
There are streets here too
that give me the same feeling.

There is a time in life
when you just take a walk,
and you walk in your own landscape,
hovering on both
sides of yourself.

I’m in my element
when I’m out of this world,
then I’m in the real world.

You should always be drunk,
that’s the great thing.
Drunk without respite.
Drunk with what?
Wine, poetry, virtue . . .
But get drunk.

The last stanza is a paraphrase from Charles Baudelaire’s Paris Spleen.