Academic journal article The Conradian : the Journal of the Joseph Conrad Society (U.K.)

The Secret Agents

Academic journal article The Conradian : the Journal of the Joseph Conrad Society (U.K.)

The Secret Agents

Article excerpt

At close and shut of day

they come out of basements

and down from lofts

into half-deserted

half-dark streets

like ghosts

to observe life

they haven't got

the young in one another's arms

who count bliss

not in minutes

(the clock has just struck twelve)

but in springs

the hobo stretched

on a bench

measuring happiness

in smoke

the young woman

with laptop and ringed eyes

clicking up cobblestones

to her lobster bisque

with crackers

and the next instalment

of the Dallas bubble

As the house fronts darken

windows grow bright

like portholes of enigma

in Munch and Magritte

The agents do not know

what book the old man

picks from the sagging shelf

they do not know the quarry

of the tabby's vertically shuttered

green gaze

nor the words

a man and a woman

shuttlecock soundlessly

over a blue table

But when red buses

with misted headlights

leave the depot

they return

to their lofts and basements

to write reports

weave speculations

and hypotheses

and dream lives

they haven't got

Andrzej Busza

[Author Affiliation]

ANDRZEJ BUSZA, a poet and translator, has published several volumes of poetry in Polish and English. …

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