Monday, April 11, 2011

Favorites 8,9,10,11/30

by John Ashbery

Quietly as if it could be
otherwise, the ocean turns
and slinks back into her panties.

Reefs must know something of this,
and all the incurious red fish
that float ditsily in schools,

wondering which school is best.
I'd take you for a drive
in my flivver, Miss Ocean, honest, if I could.

by Christopher Reid

That she was glad to sit down.
That her legs hurt in spite of the medicine.
That times were bad.
That her husband had died nearly thirty years before.
That the war had changed things.
That the new priest looked like a schoolboy and you could
barely hear him in church.
That pigs were better company, generally speaking, than goats.
That no one could fool her.
That both her sons had married stupid women.
That her son-in-law drove a truck.
That he had once delivered something to the President's palace.
That his flat was on the seventh floor and that it made her dizzy
to think of it.
That he brought her presents from the black market.
That an alarm clock was of no use to her.
That she could no longer walk to town and back.
That all her friends were dead.
That I should be careful about mushrooms.
That ghosts never came to a house where a sprig of rosemary had
been hung.
That the cinema was a ridiculous invention.
That the modern dances were no good.
That her husband had had a beautiful singing voice, until drink
ruined it.
That the war had changed things.
That she had seen on a map where the war had been fought.
That Hitler was definitely in Hell right now.
That children were cheekier than ever.
That it was going to be a cold winter, you could tell from the
height of the birds' nests.
That even salt was expensive these days.
That she had had a long life and was not afraid of dying.
That times were very bad.

by David Ignatow

I don't know which to mourn. Both have died on me, my wife and
my car. I feel strongly about my car, but I am also affected by my
wife. Without my car, I can't leave the house to keep myself from
being alone. My wife gave me two children, both of whom, of
no longer live with us, as was to be expected, as we in our youth
our parents behind. With my car, I could visit my children, when
are not too busy.

Before she died, my wife urged me to find another woman. it's
I'd like to take up but not without a car. Without a car, I cannot
myself another woman. That's the sum of it.

11.) 1953

by Jack Gilbert

All night in the Iowa cafe. Friday night
and the farm boys with their pay.
Fine bodies and clean faces. All of them
proud to be drunk. No meanness,
just energy. At the next table, they talked
cars for hours, friends coming and going,
hollering over. The one with the heavy face
and pale hair kept talking about the Chevy
he had years ago and how it could
take everything in second.
Moaning that he should never have sold it.
Didn't he show old Hank? Bet your ass!
That Fourth of July when Shelvadeen
got too much patriotism and beer
and gave some to everybody
down by the river. Hank so mad because
I left him like he was standing still.
Best car that ever was, and never should have
let it go. Tears falling on his eggs.

No comments: