Poem #11

Like Dylan Thomas

“Caught in the flow of things wherever bound,
The blind delight of being, ready still
To enter life on life and see them through.”

from “The Reader”, by Richard Wilbur

He is going back, these nights, to the poor alleys
that haunted his younger life. A sodium vapor light
shines on his shape half-frightened by his thoughtlessness,
and a bar stall door opens now with a creaking sound.
Onward they come again, the relieved reaching
For a flailing at a slippery world,
a young poet who always drowns
in the city’s pub, and will descend into a head,
the teasing girl, once more, who would live dangerously,
the sly one who aspires to hook up so,
the young man bent on booty, and that other
who seeks his burden. Knowing as he does
what will become of them in littered home
or Parisian Boheme, it may be that at times
he never sees their first and final selves at once,
as a human might to whom all time is closed.
Or, having lived so little himself, perhaps
he never meets them one time with a wiser eye,
noting that Brute’s hungry head
is from the first well connected to his heart.
But the true wonder of it is that he,
for all that he is naïve of consequences,
still turns charmed to the next vengeful sorceress
like some dude on the dancehall floor–
the blind delight of being whenever bound, ready still
to enter life on life and quit them.
His compatriots remind him on his dates
to not forget their lives tied to his heart
as an anchor and another to the real world,
where after mammals mate they go to another
holy hole, and where once compassion held
it now slaps in the face and shows lost love the door;
perhaps his logs and hours kept are worth
all their abandon to the street curbs, and
the only thing that matters is music with these stoics,
who will welcome him when he is broke
at their knees, again.


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