Friday, March 28, 2014


When I was young, boy, there were those youngish themes
and all my heroes sounded naively British.
They stood on bartops in Welsh taverns
and quoted Shakespeare with a lilt
and there were pints aplenty
and their names sounded like the names 
of Olivier's stage and Burton's celluloid.
But one reads more than one hears
if one does it right -- falls back the need for pretense
and love but not clutch the shire-folk dead.
My traditions are as deep as they
and voices just as ripe for recitation. 
I traded my Union Jacks for Columbian Jews,
In lumine Tuo videbimus lumen!
But not the 'Thy' they thought. 
For mustach'd, dog-loving wits, 
for French drunks magnetized to California,
and the doldrumic clacks of effeminate smokers. 
With their winter Appalachian scenes I fell in love, 
with their Vieux Carrés, those of the kosmos,
who preached in ink from Manhattan to Big Sur,
and gave more love to life than the faithful to death. 
Who could not be prouder of these shared soils, 
these recycled atmospheres,
these brainchild ghosts of afflatus.
Spark, spark, the American pen.  

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