Surrealist of hedgerows, Baudelaire
Of weeds blown low within a hunter’s brake,
Kite of sorrow in a small boy’s frown,
And truffle scent beneath a winter lake,
How can I solve you? How can I begin
To push my breath out of your counterpane?
Who wrote the numbers on the widow’s back
And tied my language to your liquid train?
Maze of computers, St. Joan of closed doors,
The skidding sound a thought makes in the dark,
Red wine of the internet, marshland of the Alps,
Tunnel of grass that hides a meadowlark,
Who placed those coffins in your bloodshot eyes,
Planned your wedding through binoculars?
How does chamber music brokerage a wave?
Where’s the chiffon in a calendar?
Marseilles of footsteps, Notre Dame of rot,
Clipboard carrier of Vichy wounds,
Miser who throws pennies in the Seine
Because the Sorbonne stalks a waxing moon,
Why do wrinkles form on solid glass
And wrack the skin your Monet freeways roam?
In Roland’s name, I ask these things of you,
Great Mystery Grimace all my poems storm.
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 20 Number 6, on page 33
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