Saturday, July 5, 2014

Paul Blackburn

Paul Blackburn [jacket 12]

from Paul Blackburn's Selected Poems:

Hot Afternoons Have Been in West 15th Street

Here, in late spring, the summer is on us already
                                                Clouds and sun,
                a haze over the city.        Outside my
window the ailanthus nods sleepily under
                                                a hot wind, under
                wetness in the air, the brightness
of day even with overcast.        The chair on the next roof
                sits by itself and waits
for someone to come stretch his length in it.        Suddenly

thunder cracks to the south over the ocean, one can
                                                shuteye see
the waves' grey wife, the storm, implacably stride
rain nipplings on the surface of the sea, the waves
                powerfully starting to rise, raise their
                                                powers before the hot wind
The endless stretchout to Europe disappears, the
rainsweep moving toward the city rising caught in the haze-hot
                                                island atmosphere
                Hate anger powers whip toward the towers rising
from the hum of slugbedded traffic clogging avenues, the trees
                of heaven gracing their backyards crazily
                waving under the strengthening wind

                                                sun brighter
                                                more thunder
                                                rises shrilly announcing
the storm in advance in encroach in abstruse syllables of pure
                SOUND    .    SONG    .    SOMEONE
comes to the porched roof to cover the chair from the thunderfilled
                wet atmosphere,        there is
nothing clearly defined wrong I can see except
I must go uptown and see what other storms there
                                be, there

And paint the inside of my wife's white filing cabinet red
that all things may be resolved        correct        and dead    .

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