Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Trouble With Reading Your Poems

I read your poems, knowing

that the vase of fresh cut

roses that you describe could

be fake – could be, that is,

an imaginary vase, rather

than one you see on a table.

The patchouli scented

candle you smell burning

in a darkening cottage,

(as the sun sets over

Scotch pines outside

its dining room window)—

may have been cut and pasted

from an old dream of yours.

I know that raffia-tied jar

of strawberry jam you claim

as home-made by your lover –

I know, even as you spread it

on an (allegedly) warm biscuit,

that it might very well have

come from some big grocery

store chain, made in large

vats in a factory up-river.

I know you may be inventing,

rather than noticing, these

items in the morning of your

day as a famous poet at work.

But you should see outside my

window, my backyard, Billy –

My neighbor, Nick, with his

long-handled hose, watering

the Arborvitae shrubs on the

bottom terrace of my descending

lawn, and the bushy sun-flowers –

just about to pop open.

If I wrote a poem,

I’d show you my soft

new double-wide hammock,

so white and inviting under the

walnut tree. You’d see an oval

umbrella table with see-through

patio chairs, a tray of marmalade

cookies, and blackberry ice tea.

Look – my favorite yellow

finch, wearing his little black

vest – drinking from a puddle,

(leaking from the weak link

between two bright red hoses) –

across a neighbor’s walkway.

I only wish I’d remembered

to bring a camera along today.

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