Skip to content

Pontius & Smith – Nov. 15

Sarah Smith and Geraldine Pontius traded art and words. Geraldine shared this image, from a series entitled “Tribeca Homeland,” with Sarah:


In response, Sarah wrote this poem:

Ventilation Tower for the Holland Tunnel

You are the lungs,
housing fans
that blow and exhaust
in transverse respiration.

The low thrum of your industrial breath
blends seamlessly into the din of the city.
Your reserved appearance streetside,
parapets and parallel lines,
belies the marvel of your subterranean design.

As you peer out onto the Tribeca waterfront,
are you wistful
for the way that shadows of old bridges
now memories
fell across your facade?
What do you imagine westward,
beyond the shimmer of the Hudson?
Do you miss the Jersey City factories,
puffing smoke along the skyline?
Are the endless condominiums banal?
In nearly a century,
what have you watched rise and fall?

* * * * *

Sarah shared this poem with Geraldine:


Their voices begin.
           Soft fingers gloss my neck.
           A comforting earthiness
           envelops my nostrils,
           cools my skin.
           Languages no longer spoken
           sigh in the breeze

As they rise,
           the parts split and rejoin,
           like carved wood, intricate with devotion,
           or the complex geometry of cathedral glass.

The organ builds,
at moments rumbling, at others soaring,
but always pushing
toward crescendo.

The entire quaking collective straddles cacophony,
threatens to dissolve into discord,
but holds.

When they finish,
           echoes roar through the sanctuary.

I struggle
to discern actual sound
from mere expectation,

floundering in perplexed delight
like the moment the magician
reveals his open hand:

yet immaculate.

In response, Geraldine created this collection of images (click here to see enlarged images):

This slideshow requires JavaScript.