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Excerpt from "brooklynwind"


by James Poulos

Whether I feel insecure about belonging, or not, part of a community, or alone, queer, or square, the wind says that Brooklyn is everyone’s home.  No matter how many cultures or languages compete to take over, the wind whispers that we are to respect one another.  Brooklyn embraces everyone, belongs to nobody, and is sustained by strength, spirit, and faith.

I have the haunting luck of having been born and raised here … a blessed homelessness.  I walk often and visit personal history landmarks:  The Promenade by Montague Street, State Street, Bond Street, Schermerhorn Street, Flatbush Avenue extension, Fourth Avenue, Hanson Place, Grand Army Plaza, St. John’s Place, Dekalb Avenue … The people I knew are not at those places any more, yet there is an odd familiarity I experience every time I walk through.  I am grateful that fate brought me to Brooklyn, to learn about silence.  I am overjoyed to walk amidst all that are here, just as smug as I am.

Brooklyn is a place I can go deep inside and search for my individuality, my self, my purpose and ultimately my connection to everyone and everything.  There is great speed here yet the energy is dense.  Contemplation and study is inevitable but difficult.  Locks and keys are ubiquitous, and there is strong resistance to change.  I feel quite alone and sometimes I am convinced that I am invisible, but sometimes people talk to me, when I don’t expect it, and it still surprises me that they can see me!

Can I be from here the same way people are from somewhere else?  There are so many identities here, so many “homes.”  Can home be Brooklyn, where everyone states so proudly what foreign land they are from?  How does ancestry fit into this equation?  I was born here, so what if the melting pot is fictitious, I am a wisp lost in the wind.  What if I don’t have a childhood home in another part of the world?  What if I have to stay right here?  What if this is just a gateway?  People coming and going, or staying, but with heavy anchors to past countries in different parts of the world?  Can I anchor by the Gowanus and call it home?  If I listen carefully to the silent wind blowing through the Brooklyn trees, and pay attention to the amicable separations from the lovely countries left behind, then yes perhaps I can.

I pray hard to connect, trying to quiet my yelping thoughts, floating around my head:  As magnificent as this earth is, parts of it are pretty rotten.  There is all this beauty yet along side humanity striving for betterment, there is lots of danger and potential for pain.  People are unemployed and there are wars.


“Excuse me.  Who do I sue when this rock crashes into Mars?”  

“Well, I’m not sure, but this rock has the right to remain silent.”

James Poulos was born in Brooklyn, NY.  He is interested in non-denominational spiritual/poetical writing.  He graduated from Bard College.  He presently lives in NYC with his wife and two children, who are attending college.

Book is available on Amazon.com for $6.69 in soft cover, and electronically on Kindle for $2.99.  Search Amazon.com then brooklynwind . More poetical insights can be found on my blog brooklynwind.org

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