Horus In Gotham:

Our Woman In New York City

livia sian llewellyn



I spend much of my free time roaming the city, trying to figure it out (I never will), and have come to consider myself as a human version of the eye of Horus, which was once painted on fishing boats of the Nile--I am here to observe, navigate, occasionally warn, and impart a small pearl or two of wisdom every now and then.



alphabet city


walking walking the streets of my childhood in a city i've never

been in before only this time big

bird and oscar aren't here to teach me the sights and signs of this

adult new world and down

down down i go brownstone brickwood and peeling paint garbage

cans with flowers and faces

painted on the sides drunks reeling to some silent ancient music,

the muses never abandon them,

no, they hear them continually, dancing and swaying as you walk

past arms swinging out in that

childhood rhythm march you learned in school a million years ago

when the world was a pliant leaf

in your hands held in the curve of flesh green and gold against the

baby cream of your skin and

down you go past cafes and beautiful girls and boys in pigtails and

pink, baseball caps and frayed

jeans, keds sneakers flashing white and red as they skate beside

you in this flow of air and life into

the village now deep flashes fill the silver light sky and slate

cashmerey clouds skud and thump

overhead quickly, racing you to tompkins square, the dirty emerald

set in the crown of that ancient

sly old.man the east village, there is a familiarity in the wind and

waves of the air, the slant of

buildings, like the hand of an unseen lover slipped quietly around

your waist, warm against the

small of your back, the air and the people, the sway and swing of

their movement supporting you,

lifting you up and almost out of yourself, and now you find that

bench, the one that bert and ernie

said would be waiting for you nestled plumb against a wacky tangle

outgrowth of tossing branches

and green, the jittery jangle of junkies hopping past, reedy girls

swooshing by like splinters of

frankenstein in their black platforms and leggings, hipbones jutting

slicing their path with slow long

ease, all around you, motionless you, center of the storm you, eye

of the hurricane you, drawing

their mandela, dancing and stepping in celestial clockwork paths,

spinning circles that hitch to each

other and run, run under the sun and the far off stars, run under

the silver breast of the sky, run as

the hours linger and slip down off the island into the ever moving

river, and down to the sea.




beauty is in this city, beauty in the faces that roll off your eyes, in

the dark shadows of the park

that beckon you with scythes of secrets, whispers of needley

dreams it floods the cafes with

color and buttery candle darkness, rustling papers and pens, tears

and sighs, it flies down on the

wings of gulls, wings spread out in supplication, their call so pure

and clean it splits the very air,

and oceans of time, of past layers, past cities, peel forward i can

see dogs rolling back their eyes

straining leashes and howling as rustling silked petticoated

immigrant ghost girls click and clack

through serpentine paths, lost in a dream of living, lost dead pale

skinned girls whispering

indecipherable tongues, the tongues of the dead shining teeth and

sad eyes are all i see, i feel the

harness of their heels grinding a path through history.




now raindrops hit my forehead, big platters of wet sloppy sky

kisses plopping down in a rapidly

blackening world the air makes a steel coil around the park and

tightens snakelike, pulls out like

a string from a top then simply blows wide and clean and long

through all of us, stupid on the

benches, books damp and swelling, eyes blinking mascara tears

and sooty water, i sit and watch

from my protected little corner of the bench, dark thin branches

whipping and warding off the

rain, heat swells up in a bubble from the cement streets, thick and

pregnant, stretching out

beyond the tips of tired trees and tar rooftops there is thin

cracking sound a hairline splintering

the pressure flattens us all leaning against doorways and trees,

and i think of my childhood and

the freshness, the rain cool, sheeting down on orange buses, the

breezeways of my school

running the length of the buildings long and arrow narrow, pointing

out beyond the dusty chalk

and grey flecked linoleum out to the playground sloping down and

away wide like an ocean of

gravel and grass, a steppe of arcing hoops, chains, poles, ropes,

mini cities of iron and sautered

steel, then down, down, down another steppe, gravel and sliding

rock to the widest field of

green, brilliant uncut pure emerald earth green soft and cutting

sweet the dizziness of space and

arm swinging silence in a rain tinged soft blue sky the caress of air

and grass against my bare legs

my plaid skirt swinging like the song of the evergreens, hands and

branches up in joy, all of

us, all of us, all of us, older now, older and far away, and now the

heat explodes and the rain

pours down, sirens flaring up in the distance, pounding feet, old

crazy men screaming at the

lightning god and thunder everywhere rolling through every orifice

the rain sheeting down black

and hot and deep into my little pocket of sitting down and i'll never

have that pure soft northwest

rain on my face again. it's gone the way of my grass stained knees

and lunchbox. i sit in black

clothes a has been punk feeling the wetness of my life cling sadly

to my shoulders too tired to cry

and the shock of my half lived life reaches up to the sky and slaps

the O-mouthed storm silent

and away.




now i rise up and start to float out among the people and cars and

dogs and i breathe the same

air as they do and i sway the same way as they do and i jump up to

curbs and dodge bodies and

sidle past lunatics and hop over shit, i balance on the edge of the

street flowing in and out of

traffic, the street, the buildings, i and time, time is moving me past

the moments and memories of

the park already, the gentle arms of time rushing me in cupped

hands godsized and consuming

out to the world i love and hate, the city i'll never know and have

always dreamed of like a lover

silent and smiling as i pass by weeping soft because i've never met

him not knowing he was

always in my sight, familiar cool and benedictine

like the rain.




livia sian llewellyn can be reached at Hiraeth@ix.netcom.com