If you’re looking for something to read on this rainy, “as summer into autumn slips” kind of day, ATZ recommends this poem by Edwin Torres. The autobiographical “Coney Island 1969” was written especially for Parachute: The Coney Island Performance Festival. Torres debuted the poem on September 12, the first night of Coney’s Island’s first annual performance festival. The Alien Stingers exhibit at the New York Aquarium proved to be an inspired setting for the event as the parachute-like jellyfish danced in the water behind the human performers. Now if you’re looking for somewhere to go on a rainy day, ATZ recommends the Alien Stingers at the Aquarium, which is open year round. The adult jellyfish is called the “medusa.” How poetic is that?
CONEY ISLAND 1969 My father was the manager of Nathan's Hot Dogs on Coney Island A memory inside a beach ball My cousin reaching below the surface Water in my lungs Gagging Blue sky Technicolor white Where skin should be My father watched me walk the cracks From our bedroom window In the Bronx Asking me What I thought I was doing How a line is straight when you walk it How a man knows exactly where to go My father took us to Nathan's at Christmas Company party Santa A thousand presents for each and every child The boardwalk was cold The rides empty Coney Island winter You had to warm your fingers By hiding them from the ocean My father gave us hot dogs and fries Between his affairs He gave me animals To show his love I had a beagle, a turtle, 3 guinea pigs and 2 java rice birds I loved them So I loved my father My father took me and my two sisters to the Statue of Liberty He told me it was made of Limburger Cheese I loved him He never hit me He never hugged me I had to walk straight That's what he told me When I visit my father At St. Raymond's Cemetary I find his gravestone I have a son I tell him Winter is our time When he left When all those presents at Nathan's were opened All those families My father towered over me Laughing in his eyes You're my little man he'd say From up there The bumper cars The mirrors All those reflections a location's intuition will be to remain long enough to be found in a relationship with scale the chance to leave will follow its pull calling to catch what will does to weight My father was never Coney Island to me He never knocked on the door That morning in the Bronx My mother didn't open No cops told her nothing She didn't hide her face in her hands No silent tears cover her mouth when she snore No floor I play my indians on No roller coaster tell me no turn No question come from long legs No mean kids No skinny mirror My father had yoga thumbs Look what I can do I'd say Leaning out just far enough To make you catch me -Edwin Torres ©2009