Issue 77, Winter-Spring 1980
(Stephane Mallarme, 1866-67)
For Bradford Cook
It's an awesome thing, when fate takes you at your word
at eighteen or twenty. If Dreams weren't greater than
Action. . .
Happiness on this earth! One has to be pretty vulgar
to stoop to it. When I wrote that, two months
before marriage, Marie's weak chest
seemed a kind of grace-note—the blood-hearted
sharpening the wild-thing poignance of her eyes. . .
And unhappiness? A curtain-line, a fling of the sleeve.
Not, at any rate, this matter of two fatigues
grinding each other; the worry when the child
gives her slight cough; the bone-cold rooms,
and happy, sometimes, for those. . .
Our move here was as moving
is—one's old chair in the fall rain an hour
because the men want coffee. . . The irksome part was the
to be composed through it all; the need, after Tournon,
to think about stopping rumors before they start.