December 9, 2003

At the Lion's Head
-- David Markson

I scowl at the bar
And confront a midnight revelation:
In ten years
I have contributed thirty thousand, cash,
To the fiscal well-being
Of this saloon.

If I wake, mornings, to
Is there a refund?

Dialogue in Milan
-- David Markson

"But oil on plaster yet again?
It cannot set, will flake and fade
Before your own life's done. Old fool,
Near fifty now, at least this once
Leave something permanent. That horse
You planned, too huge to cast, the years!
Go, cross the town, to sit and stare
Or single brushstroke fix! The hours
Of waste amid those notes, those drafts,
What fruit therein, what end? Back south
Commissions fall to younger brush
Not only Raphael in Rome
But Buonarroti too, nor even stone
But on the wall as well, what skill
So little realized, so much

"'Let the street be as wide
As the height of the houses.'"


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