Issue 27, Winter-Spring 1962
This morning, flakes of sun
peel down to the last snowholds,
the barbed-wire leavings of a war
lost, won, in these dead-end alleys.
Stale as a written-out journalist,
I start to sort my gear.
Nothing is happening. City, dumb
as a pack of thumbed cards, you
once had snap and glare
and secret life; now, trembling
under my five grey senses’ weight,
you fall and flatten
queasily on the table.
Baudelaire, I think of you! Nothing changes,
rude and self-absorbed the current
dashes past, asking nothing, poetry
extends its unsought amnesty,
autumn saws the great grove down.
Some voices, though, shake in the air like heat.
I see myself hardened against queer sights:
myself, perhaps, the queerest,
man running wild
in his selfmade wilderness.
Everyone greets me; all are nonchalant.
We have so much
in common: even squalor.
I walk into my house and see
tourists fingering this and that.
My mirrors, my portfolios
don’t suit their style.