Pre-nuptial quarrels—from the song
the Irish tenor sings to proper carry of
the wedding ring, how maids serve
the nuptial wine. Sara's length of hem,
spacing the rose, its length of stem.
Sara—she waves from her window
in Princeton's Hubbard Hall, we maunder
the lawns of Howard Hill, kiss in a portico.
She hides. I find her echo behind a tree.
But I am thinking of jilting Sara
I'll go, sit on Texas rocks, listen to gulls
argue wind, sand and sea. Plato there,
long-winged flash of white, dips and nips
Alexander II for lost interest in swoop
and salt-- sweet minnows to be had.
How I loved Sara's twice-divided line,
the veridical of female truth, I am now
led past doxa to episteme—past doxa
to an odd episteme. I am lead away—
past Sara's penny loafers, beyond her knees.
Gulls dip, gulls rise, gulls will fall again
as they have done for a thousand years;
college girls too, as they will, dip and rise,
bring their wings to midnights on the hill--
spread and open tarts of persimmon sweets
as all Princeton coeds, ever, always will.
I'm thinking of leaving the estate
in about an hour—go sleep under trees,
listen to declamation by flayed-winged crows,
to whistling birds, to summer's mortal
ecstacies, to canticle's buzz of honey bees,
to rolling leagues of brown-dirt fields
The loveliest girl of all—Jersey's shore
will awake and call out my name—
Will I be aboard the Great Northern train,
or will I walk to Galveston in mizzling rain.
Home To Bauba-Bee
One more term, Windamere,
halls, chapel and stony walls--
home to Ireland across the sea.
One more night with Elizabeth,
dainty daughter of the dean--
home to Ireland across the sea,
Say goodbye staid Windamere,
your long scholastics for me
in a closet I'll put away,
find my homespun goods,
sling 'em in a long-pole sack.
No Descartes before the Queen
but soon bedfast in old Belfast
it's whores before Decartes.
No more Faust-- too late!
I burnt my philosophy books--
never look back to Windamere
nor wear suppercoat's wool to tea--
Hallam's echo in Lindsay Hall.
No more Hyperion, Abelard,
no Socrates, Diogenes, no Gospel
turned on Milton's cobbled mall.
Natural to mineral and boggy smell,
Irish girls wear shifts of turtle-shell,
bypass Oxford's Mill and Gower too,
skip grammar's parse at Plusimine
for tavern arts and cottage bed.
A few more hours, Windamere--
then, a PhD gone to Bauba-Bee.
glad to see that girl riding up the path
it's Blossom Riley Western Auto Flyer
I rake pluck autumn leaves from the tines
from now on mister your new papergirl
I saw her around knew her dad she folded
one real neat was mechanic Riley burley man
with tough sons thank you you collect when?
every Friday? well, Friday we'll have a pop.
I'll save pennies dimes and quarters
my my Blossom you have yes changed
I'll save for my paper bill in a Folger coffee can
when you can and if in denim shorts ahead
the paper route would you are you fifteen now?
want a bottle of Nehi grape I keep on ice?
I hear cherry cider music at the fair all kinds
of blossomings round corners of side show
tents licking vanilla scones and tossing braids
cards with snapper clothespins in your spokes
sure mister I'll have a pop now raking leaves
I hear blossoms pedal skin and coral shanks
Jacks, Kings and Queens, the Nine of Hearts
tat-tatting tat past rows of hedge up the road
come around the dew is on Sunday morning
maybe I'm gathering wood out back don't throw
under the porch toss it spinning in the early sun
bring in your pocket stones you found
I'll shine and you will laugh with your mouth
all Nehi grape on my grinding wheel Bossom Riley
you can't know the arrow in my heel