The oven door being opened is the start of
the last movement of Rachmaninov's Second Symphony—
the bathroom window pushed up
is the orchestra in the recitative
of the Countess's big aria in Figaro, Act Three.
Catch the conspiracy, when mundane action
borrows heart from happenings. We are surrounded
by such leaking categories the only consequence
is melancholy. Hear the tramp of trochees
as the poet, filming his own university,
gets everything right since Plato. What faith in
paper and the marks we make with stencils
when a great assurance settles into cantos.
The Dark Lady was no more than the blackness of his ink
say those whose girl friends are readier than Shakespeare's.
Just turn the mind off for a moment
to let the inner silence flow into itself—
this is the beauty of dejection, as if our unimaginable death
were free of the collapse of heart and liver,
its faultless shape some sort of architecture,
an aphorism fleeing its own words.
Betrayal goes so far back there's no point in
putting it in poems. I see beyond the pyramid
of faces to strong monosyllables—faith, hope and love—
charitable in halcyon's memory, fine days
upon the water and weed round the propeller.
Now all the theses out of dehydration
swarm upon my lids: I was never brave
yet half an empire comes into my room
to settle honey on my mind. Last night
I quarrelled with some friends on politics,
sillier than seeing ghosts, and now this neuro-pad
is dirging for Armenia. Despair's the one
with the chewy centre, you can take your pick.
I listened to misanthropy and had
the record straight. The woman in white,
the lady with the special presents of mind,
may now be on the phone from out of town
just to keep in touch. Think, she usually tells me,
of Coleridge and days in record shops
and all those ‘likes’ that love is like,
a settlement to put our world in place.
What has the truth done to our children's room?
The toys are scattered, the pillow damp with crying,
chiefly the light is poor and no one comes
all afternoon: Meermädchen of the swamp of mind.
I kept my father waiting, he will know
that the disc, long-playing for however, ends
in sounds of surface, of the hinge and wind,
an average door, a tree against the pane.