Academic journal article English Journal

Poem's Poem

Academic journal article English Journal

Poem's Poem

Article excerpt

I want to crash the dinner party in a Billy Collins poem

holding my half-empty glass of merlot

listening to the storm against the window

the blues from a cornered speaker

as he tells of a time he made a lanyard

or became a moth on a bell

waiting for the lights to go out

I want to wait on the banks of the Wye for Wordsworth

to stop to write a line or two

listening to the same waters, the same quiet sky

drifting to sleep under the same dark sycamore

I, too, pondering my thoughtless youth

dreaming of decasyllabic landscapes

I want to peer over the fence into William Carlos's yard

standing in an hour's old puddle

surveying the grounds

the wheelbarrow

some chickens

a cement-filled lawn roller

half-hidden among the weeds

searching left to right

still feeling that I'm missing something

I want to ride the Elevated high above Sandburg

the moment he thinks of his big shouldered conceit

catching a glimpse of his skyward face through

the flicker of beams and girders through

the lake breeze and exhaust through

the steam rising from a hot dog cart

as he orders "poppy-seed bun, mustard"

I want to wander the ancient city

past stones of ionic order

crooked alleys of sandal-kicked dust

echoes of rhetor and merchant

peddling polemic and profit

happening upon the hands which made the "Grecian Urn"

watching the artisan architect

detail the soundless melody of his trembles and pipes

suspend the grace of his bacchanal dancers

eternalize the terror of his heifer's lowing

knowing Keats made twice immortal

Is it wrong to want to listen

from a darkened corner

of a moonlit room

to Neruda describe

the curve of her hand

a wineglass

the river as it meets the sea

wishing for a Spanish to English dictionary? …

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