December 7, 2012

we're gonna find the meaning of feeling good

Ed Van der Elsken, Switzerland, 1967

-- Jack Gilbert

When I hear men boast about how passionate
they are, I think of the two cleaning ladies
at a second-story window watching a man
coming back from a party where there was
lots of free beer. He runs in and out
of the building looking for a toilet. "My Lord,"
the tall woman says, "that fellow down there
surely does love architecture."

First Times
-- Jack Gilbert

I had not seen her for twenty years when she called
to welcome me back to America, wanting to see me.
Warning that she was past forty now and the mother
of a seven year-old. The lost time flooded me.
Paris and me without money or a place to take her.
I borrowed a room and lit candles and had wine.
It went badly. My knees kept sliding away under me
on the starched sheets. I managed the humiliation
by turning my back and refusing to talk. She was
as young as I was and felt, I suspect, relief.

Selecting a Reader
-- Ted Kooser

First, I would have her be beautiful,
and walking carefully up on my poetry
at the loneliest moment of an afternoon,
her hair still damp at the neck
from washing it. She should be wearing
a raincoat, an old one, dirty
from not having money enough for the cleaners.
She will take out her glasses, and there
in the bookstore, she will thumb
over my poems, then put the book back
up on its shelf. She will say to herself,
"For that kind of money, I can get
my raincoat cleaned." And she will.


Anonymous Ian Stuart said...

Lovely. Buying poetry or having your coat cleaned...I'd walk out grubby...and happy.

A beautiful little cameo piece. I really liked this.

1:11 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home