(Italian, c.17th; Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna)
Life breathes in this painting like a child
pretending not to be awake,
or a skink metamorphosed to a stone
but for the flutter in its flank.
You have to lean and listen for the heart
behind the shining paint,
the lips half-open, and the glittering eye.
Velvet of the night. A ba ...
In ABR's seventh 'Poem of the Week' Stephen Edgar discusses and reads his poem 'Man on the Moon'.... (read more)
This six a.m. moment
in the cool-blue cool
of early morning
is not eternal.
God, the lonely father,
shuffles through the
corridors of heaven,
haunted by angels –
memories of desire,
the source of nostalgia.
- What type of truck?
- A fire truck.
The taper of a cup
sitting pretty in a circle –
Advertisements asked ‘Which twin has the Toni?’
Our mothers were supposed to be non-plussed.
Dense paragraphs of technical baloney
Explained the close resemblance of the phoney
To the Expensive Perm. It worked on trust.
If T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound
Came back to life, again it would be found
One had the gab, the other had the gift
And each looked to the other for a lift ...
Who was it led us to overestimate the New?
The Greatest Living Poet’s recent volumes
are in a stack at your left hand – what do you do
in between getting on with your journalism?
Go back to his earlier and more spritely days
cool along your face, when you decided,
notwithstanding your resistance, as you claimed,
to literary fashion, that this intransigent
dandy got the world into his impure verses
as almost no responsible rival did –
so much so indeed that a jaunty episode
among the Check-Out Sylphs, an Ode to a Torpedo,
or some sort of squirrel-hounded sexual outing
in the Allegheny Mountains seemed, as you read it,
a calm reflection worthy of Matthew Arnold
minus his Rugby gloom and moral nimbus.
As the grand navigator steps back in his boat,
As the last notes march to Heaven on a page,
So the attenuations of our lives
Are charted as polite reverberations,
Ready to be eroicomico indulgences
Or merely subjects in an academic quiz –
For such is memory’s braking, as the grave
Soul of humankind is shown as nought
On star charts, and each immensity
Aspires to be a simple once-born number.