The Depot

Sparrows tapping your shutters louvres? snow owls
guano your eaves? Spring rainstorms sway
in your gutters; down-cellar a green pipe pearls

and roots find its fissures. Matter—outside us, out in le Vrai,
matter—un-does; fatiscit; a sort of eternal
breakdown and sloughage. Small wonder that Saturday

finds you botanizing some mast-high aisle
in the Depot. Fazed by stock-names and numbers, distinctions
like drip-forged and molly- and carborundum-steel,

or, in DIMENSIONAL LUMBER, the trunk chart. Its dotted lines
follow core cuts, mere spindles, out to the perimeter or “wane,”
a ring of two-by-twelves with moonrim bark ribbons.

Yet even sparrows must nest-mend with worldstuff torn
out of somewhere. The joinery-bits in the MASTER JOINER
blister-pack point to his fast parataxes—copulas, common-

alities, ship-lists, figures in carpets or slimmer
hex-keys in sets, the eternal angle (Egyptian)
or iron plane-handles tuned to the unheard rumor

that joins them. The same slits reparied once with tendon-
thread in bone needles, bronze pins, the earliest factory-fittings
or the long floating line of the bass-baritone

Leporello, his catàlogo of continents and couplings
ironizing, admiring, down to the final mel-
isma on DOES (you know the Don’s doings)

voi . . . sapete, voi . . . sapete . . . quel
che FA-AHH, ah-ahh, ah-ahh . . . Ah vowel
that winds through the world like a wind or a dowel,

you make us a clean dream of matter. Electrons wheel
translucent in orbit, sealants in lucid spheres fall
to our refts and rifts, you grout tubs and re-seal

turved huts in the rainy Carpathians where the Baal
Shem Tov (“the world is a wedding”) lingers, and back to our own vernal
mall. You float like a bird through the darkening hall

of the Depot, cooling the brows of nocturnal
plasterers trailing meanders of lime-white prints
under parking-lot lights, past crepuscular forklifts, feral

carhoods streaming the fractalized shadows of chain links
and sledges laden with wattles, with yellowy rolls of oiled paper
to seal up the windows of snowy Muscovy or Minsk.

Comment form:

*Max text - 500. Manual moderation.

Similar Poems:

Madeleine in Church by Charlotte Mew
Charlotte Mew
Here, in the darkness, where this plaster saint
Stands nearer than God stands to our distress,
And one small candle shines, but not so faint
As the far lights of everlastingness,
I’d rather kneel than over there, in open day
Where Christ is hanging, rather pray
To something more like my own clay,
Not too divine;
Read Poem

Lying by Richard Wilbur
Richard Wilbur
To claim, at a dead party, to have spotted a grackle,
When in fact you haven’t of late, can do no harm.
Your reputation for saying things of interest
Will not be marred, if you hasten to other topics,
Nor will the delicate web of human trust
Be ruptured by that airy fabrication.
Later, however, talking with toxic zest
Of golf, or taxes, or the rest of it
Read Poem

‘Thrush’ by George Seferis
George Seferis

The house near the sea

The houses I had they took away from me. The times
happened to be unpropitious: war, destruction, exile;
sometimes the hunter hits the migratory birds,
sometimes he doesn’t hit them. Hunting
was good in my time, many felt the pellet;
the rest circle aimlessly or go mad in the shelters.
Read Poem

Hymn to Life by James Schuyler
James Schuyler
The wind rests its cheek upon the ground and feels the cool damp
And lifts its head with twigs and small dead blades of grass
Pressed into it as you might at the beach rise up and brush away
The sand. The day is cool and says, “I’m just staying overnight.”
The world is filled with music, and in between the music, silence
And varying the silence all sorts of sounds, natural and man made:
There goes a plane, some cars, geese that honk and, not here, but
Not so far away, a scream so rending that to hear it is to be
Read Poem

An Immigrant Woman by Anne Winters
Anne Winters


Slip-pilings on the Brooklyn littoral
—the poles still tarry, flimsy; the ferry terminus
with its walledup doors wan doorshapes
on eroded sills. Downstream, the strutwork
of the Williamsburg cable tower
threw its cool shadow half a mile inland
Read Poem

Mythistorema by George Seferis
George Seferis

The angel —
three years we waited for him, attention riveted,
closely scanning
the pines the shore the stars.
One with the blade of the plough or the ship’s keel
we were searching to find once more the first seed
so that the age-old drama could begin again.
Read Poem

Heart’s Needle by W. D. Snodgrass
W. D. Snodgrass
For Cynthia

When he would not return to fine garments and good food, to his houses and his people, Loingseachan told him, “Your father is dead.” “I’m sorry to hear it,” he said. “Your mother is dead,” said the lad. “All pity for me has gone out of the world.” “Your sister, too, is dead.” “The mild sun rests on every ditch,” he said; “a sister loves even though not loved.” “Suibhne, your daughter is dead.” “And an only daughter is the needle of the heart.” “And Suibhne, your little boy, who used to call you “Daddy”—he is dead.” “Aye,” said Suibhne, “that’s the drop that brings a man to the ground.”
He fell out of the yew tree; Loingseachan closed his arms around him and placed him in manacles.—AFTER THE MIDDLE-IRISH ROMANCE, THE MADNESS OF SUIBHNE
Read Poem

Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood by William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth
The child is father of the man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.
(Wordsworth, "My Heart Leaps Up")
Read Poem