xvii

From the second floor up, looking north, having breakfast
I see the November sun at nine o'clock
Gild the fusty brickwork of rows on rows of houses
Like animals asleep and breathing smoke
And savouring Well-being
I light my first cigarette, grow giddy and blink,
Glad of this titillation, this innuendo,
This make-believe of standing on a brink;
For all our trivial daily acts are altered
Into heroic or romantic make-believe
Of which we are hardly conscious--Who is it calls me
When the cold draught picks my sleeve?
Or sneezing in the morning sunlight or smelling the bonfire
Over the webbed lawn and the naked cabbage plot?
Or stepping into a fresh-filled bath with strata
Of cold water and hot?
We lie in the bath between tiled walls and under
Ascending scrolls of steam
And feel the ego merge as the pores open
And we lie in the bath and dream;
And responsibility dies and the thighs are happy
And the body purrs like a cat

-66-

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Autumn Journal: A Poem
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 5
  • Note 7
  • I 9
  • II 13
  • III 16
  • IV 22
  • VI 26
  • VII 30
  • VIII 33
  • IX 37
  • X 40
  • XI 44
  • XII 47
  • XIII 50
  • XIV 54
  • XV 57
  • XVI 61
  • XVII 66
  • XVIII 70
  • XIX 75
  • XX 78
  • XXI 81
  • XXII 85
  • XXIII 89
  • XXIV 93
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