I was at the Mudd Club you were too probably watching or with another young artist high (most of us were) on something potent but not as potent as youth. I was probably dancing (what I did back then). Music was my drug, movement my master – every muscle, tendon taut, tantalized in that den lacking light humid with sweat flesh against flesh alcoves thick with smoke and schemes lovers and yes fantasies following us into the morning light on White Street. We were wired back then beyond imagination. I was at Castelli, 420 around the corner from my front door. A woman in her 20s can move seamlessly through dimensions walls time was undefined laughter came easily. You were there too probably watching with other young artists. We were unstoppable our powers growing with each new challenge each new possibility. Did you ever look across a gallery loft, café in my direction? Did I ever look back? Imagine the rooms we’d need to scan subway cars, clubs, museums imagine the rooftop parties – music blasting into the air over bodegas and gas stations imagine the heat or cold against my back against the door of your truck in winter the brick wall outside Florent in summer. No one would have noticed our bodies lit from within at night. I’d like one moment to glance you across the room soak in the desire unleashed fire coursing through me the clock not a thought because I had all the hours all the energy all the courage lived on a dare. I’d like a moment to feel our eyes our bodies speak the pull of want before all the faded dreams, missteps excruciating pain crashed the party (as it does). Still, I’d repeat it all persist as I did find you as I did.
Madeleine Beckman is a poet, fiction and nonfiction writer. She is the recipient of awards and grants from, among other places, Poetry Society of America, New York Foundation for the Arts, Heinrich Böll Foundation, Fundación Valparaíso, Zvona i Nari, King’s College, Ragdale, and St. Petersburg Artist Residency. Her poetry collections include Hyacinths from the Wreckage; No Roadmap, No Brakes; and Dead Boyfriends. Her work has been published in journals, anthologies, and online. She has also published articles about poetry and poets including interviews with Galway Kinnell, Stanley Kunitz, Seamus Heaney, James Lasdun, Cornelius Eady, Audre Lorde, and Jean Valentine. Madeleine is Contributing Editor for the Bellevue Literary Review; she teaches Narrative Writing at NYU School of Medicine/Division of Medical Humanities, and Creative Writing for Denver University. For more information, contact: madeleinebeckman.com