Wednesday, October 29, 2008




Man with a raspy way
Of saying so-and-so
Stop’d “deigning to attend” the
Board’s annual meetings and something
About a “factory in Mississippi”—
He’s making kayaks “new polymers
And whatnot.” In Grand Rapids,
Michigan, there’s a street call’d
Wealthy and a few blocks
North of it the homeless
Spill out the doors of
The Guiding Light. Some, even
Though it’s only nine o’clock,
And even though it’s thirty-
Eight degrees Fahrenheit, put down
Bedraggled blankets a couple doorways
Down, “ain’t goan sleep in
No shelter.” At St. Cecelia’s
Music Society where Midori’s just
Play’d a George Enescu sonata
“Dans le caractère populaire roumain,”
The relief of the men
Emerging to fetch the SUVs
(The women scent’d and exclamatory
In the lobby) is palpable:
Enough of that itchy “cultural
Stuff.” One recalls the silver
Hip flask he’d carry’d at
State. In the park stands
One enormous maple tree, half-
Leaf’d and obscenely red. Under
It, an uncanny blue container
The color of sky. “For
Hours the mail-clad legions
Tramp’d doggedly forth under a
Black night, and when the
Sun hoist’d its one pennant
In uncloud’d splendour, the towers
And pinnacles of Jerusalem shined
Up fierce: the brute fan’tics
Fell to sod, become meek
And humble pilgrims pressing full
Length against the redeeming earth.”

“I just been to the baggage car where the engine is been toss’d.” How the ornery details of the everyday interrupt the writing of the everyday. Write that.

George Enescu, 1881-1955