Saturday, January 21, 2017

Saturday Verse: "Exceptions and Melancholies" - Ralph Angel

The Banquet, Rene Magritte 

Never before
had we been so thin and so clear
and arranged always
and in the same way going and listening
over the rooftops
to tin cans of flowers and strange
music. For an hour or more
I turned the same corner
and felt like a criminal farther and farther out to sea
among the racks of shoes and old clothes
but now looking
back I should never have
unpacked. A street
crowned with chestnut trees
ends at the sewer. You go to a theatre
and find yourself a house
outside the city
and walk the shore
forever. I don't have much
talent for poetry. When I see a wrecking ball
dangling from a crane I mean it
literally. I mean
I don't mean the world's fallen apart
or that the wrecking ball
symbolizes the eye my world-weary sister
couldn't know to turn away
from. The hospital's
exhausted. the little church is boarded up.
We leaned against the limestone
and liked the fact that tea
sweetens gradually
and the wildflowers
beneath the shad of trees gone shivering
have really livened up the cemetery
and that the tall grass and the garbage
and especially the piled-up
newspapers and the rooftop pool
fit right in among
these windowless buildings
having gathered
as we are in the flesh again
and leading another life

                                       - Ralph Angel 

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