6.27.2014

The Poet and the Hooded Night

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
The multifarious night comes speaking
In the tones of the almost-quiet dusk
In the gold and rose its glories busk
And waxy leaf and metal bridge creaking
What do you say O man? -- greeting
For mendicant evening is fleeting;

This place is but a bedroom town
A glum tapestry of Arbeit macht frei
Was that what you had wanted to say?
-- no -- but here we look further down
At crepuscular street-lights on-winking
The restless road sick with their blinking;

Dead but for cars fleeing the fleeing sun
Or chasing the fading night's last serenade
And else for people sleeping, it was made
-- that similitude holds for everyone?
-- yes -- and in gesticulating wave
What does not-wander like the grave?!

Where are the colors now, O evening?
-- they go, with day's youth, with youth
they go with the young, and sad truth
in ataraxia too seems soon leaving
-- for what cause is he thus tranquil?
-- he journeys with not large shoes to fill;

But where I see them the stale wall
The garden-walls, the immaculate gardens
Run edenward, going past dim sense
Cries of the living in middle distance call
-- interlocutor do you feel the rumbling floor
Do you hear their twilit traveling roar?

-- No, not I, but I am as one deaf
From the roaring of the crepuscular cars
Blind from a thousand gaslit stars
What is color to evening? -- and breath
Rising to blue depth, then death as out-breathing
Then life as child, then day as swift-leaving.

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