THE BRICKLAYER'S LUNCH HOUR

Two bricklayers are setting the walls
of a cellar in a new dug out patch
of dirt behind an old house of wood
with brown gables grown over with ivy
on a shady street in Denver. It is noon
and one of them wanders off. The young
subordinate bricklayer sits idly for
a few minutes after eating a sandwich
and throwing away the paper bag. He
has on dungarees and is bare above
the waist; he has yellow hair and wears
a smudged but still bright red cap
on his head. He sits idly on top
of the wall on a ladder that is leaned
up between his spread thighs, his head
bent down, gazing uninterestedly at
the paper bag on the grass. He draws
his hand across his breast, and then
slowly rubs his knuckles across the
side of his chin, and rocks to and fro
on the wall. A small cat walks to him
along the top of the wall. He picks
it up, takes off his cap, and puts it
over the kitten's body for a moment.
Meanwhile it is darkening as if to rain
and the wind on top of the trees in the
street comes through almost harshly.

-41-

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Empty Mirror: Early Poems
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents iii
  • Introduction v
  • Psalm I 11
  • Cezanne's Ports 12
  • After All, What Else is There to Say? 13
  • Fyodor 14
  • The Trembling of the Veil 15
  • A Meaningless Institution 16
  • Metaphysics 17
  • In Society 18
  • In Death, Cannot Reach What is Most Near 20
  • This is About Death 21
  • Long Live the Spiderweb 22
  • Marijuana Notation 24
  • A Crazy Spiritual 26
  • I Have Increased Power 30
  • Hymn 32
  • Sunset 34
  • The Terms in Which I Think of Reality 37
  • The Bricklayer's Lunch Hour 41
  • The Night-Apple 42
  • After Dead Souls 43
  • Two Boys Went into a Dream Diner 44
  • How Come He Got Canned At the Ribbon Factory - (Chorus Of Working Girls) 45
  • A Typical Affair 46
  • An Atypical Affair 47
  • The Archetype Poem 48
  • Paterson 51
  • The Blue Angel 54
  • Gregory Corso's Story Note: the Meanings of All Three Words in the Title Have Changed in the Decade Since This Poem Was Written-- A. G. {1961} 58
  • Walking Home at Night, 59
  • The Shrouded Stranger 60
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