the fading outboard's drone...

No time for long, discursive explorations of an idea or some teaching tidbit. The weather has turned and there's no Indian summer likely now. This semester has me firmly in its maw. I can barely breathe I have so much to do. So how about some poems? A few years ago I committed myself to writing a poem a day for one month. Most were dreadful-- little more than limericks or snarky doggerel. Still I retain an affection for a few of them despite their flaws. Besides, four years is long enough to keep them in storage. It's time to let them out.

the motorboat wake
widening as its apex hurries
across the lake:
young voices at a distance, the fading outboard’s drone,
and two lines
sauntering on the surface for seconds
as the water resumes
its line-less own.

Let’s go raffle the poetry bin
For Frank O’Hara
Or Anais Nin.
Let’s find something
That’s almost forgotten:
By Roethke, or Lowell, or late Wystan Auden.
Then let’s take them home
And drink gin in bed.
Let’s have at their worst.
We’ll toast to the dead.

Your really first class verse
Will mention Vermeer,
Possibly Brueghel, Magritte
Or Cezanne.
It will conjure the clear
Daybreak at Delft,
Savor an orange or an exquisite prawn.
There will be luscious anxiety,
Bereft light and smoke,
Oblique allusions to remorse and the
Passage of time. It may evoke
An uncertain summer,
A hillside in Spain,
Bitterness at lovers,
Some inescapable shame.
And then it will end
with a line quite odd,
Like crabgrass with wingnuts
In the bitter folds of the lawn.


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