Home > Poetry > For Goya’s Public Ice Skaters of Spain
Published: Mon Oct 7 2019
Salman Toor, Fag Puddle with Candle, Shoe, and Flag (detail), 2022. Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, N.Y. Photo: Farzad Owrang.
For Goya’s Public Ice Skaters of Spain

Mostly nothing between my mind and poem, I do
not regard the wet night that dries
away from the house on the rubber roof,
dry snow always a misnomer
as it chases itself there into and out of drifts
until the snow sticks. The town rink
keeps full of fascinating cold
from the hard shine of its oval
to the brown wooden rafters,
to the metal stands, the penalty boxes,
scoreboard box, team benches, cinderblock
walls that do not screen out the cold
with dreaming goons and figure eights,
to ads for insurance agents and dental smiles
and restaurants. I do not sharpen my skates.
I don’t care if they look dude-like or femme
and never did, was always a dork, a shmoo.
I go slow, I keep upright, I sweat and ice over
at the same time, outside night, outside daytime,
surrounded by miniature figure skaters, blue tops,
hockey pucks, hoodlum-loompahs, the middle-aged
and the old, and teenagers who also remember
the rinks other places, all of them outdoors
in the snowflakes, sudden stars, nobody talented.

David Blair’s first book, Ascension Days (Del Sol Press, 2007), was chosen for the Del Sol Poetry Prize. His poems have appeared in AGNI, Harvard Review, Ploughshares, Fence, Barnstorm, SlatestorySouth, and elsewhere. He is associate professor at the New England Institute of Art in Brookline, Massachusetts. (updated 10/2011)

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