A First Draft

California Living

After supper I make amends to
my body, taking it for a walk —
four miles marched, punctuated
by the blat-blat-blat of a Harley,
the Doppler whoosh of small metal
worlds on wheels

I am bathed in a sodium yellow
streetlight buzzing industrially
like nothing heard in nature
this din of light pierced by
the ersatz bird chirp of a
crosswalk signal

Gazing up, I wink at the moon
undressed, full and flirting with
voluptuous clouds, the air
infused with cloying car fumes
and I pause at a yellow rose
far from Texas, inhaling (yes, I inhale)

its spicysweet gift. It’s not paradise,
this city, but I am alive, and it will do.

Explore posts in the same categories: Arts, Humanities, Journal, Nature, Regional, Technology

2 Comments on “A First Draft”

  1. laurel Says:

    I just read this, and your post below about what you’ve lost in the past year and thought of Jane Kenyon. Your poem is very good. Better than good. If you haven’t read any Kenyon, I think you should. If I could, I’d press a copy of her book titled Otherwise into your hands. Your voice is very close to hers.

    Your poem’s better than any of the crap I post. Truly, it is.

    I was just writing a poem about what you felt you’d been promised that had never arrived. I’ll try to touch it up and post it in the morning.

    Kenyon. If you’ve never read her, read Jane. And if you have read her, if you know her work, then you know what a huge compliment it is that I’m giving you in comparing your work and voice to hers. She’s a hero of mine. Bishop, Gluck and Kenyon. When I grow up, I want to write like them.

    Consider yourself thoroughly validated, friend. (grin)

  2. Laurel Says:

    Here. This isn’t one of my favorites of hers because frankly all of Kenyon’s poems are my favorites. But maybe this poem in particular will speak to you tonight:

    The Blue Bowl

    Like primitives we buried the cat

    with his bowl. Bare-handed

    we scraped sand and gravel

    back into the hole.

    They fell with a hiss

    and thud on his side,

    on his long red fur, the white feathers

    between his toes, and his

    long, not to say aquiline, nose.

    We stood and brushed each other off.

    There are sorrows keener than these.

    Silent the rest of the day, we worked,

    ate, stared, and slept. It stormed

    all night; now it clears, and a robin

    burbles from a dripping bush

    like the neighbor who means well

    but always says the wrong thing.