Today's poem is by Lee Rossi

A Poet
        The vision makes him yearn inside himself.
        It makes him mourn.

                John Logan

He has a boy's gift for error
and hope. He fiddles with his glasses
as if disappointed in what he sees.
No matter how strong the prescription
he knows he will never find the necessary
quiddity. There is truth, though, in
this other glass, chalice filled
with scotch, collecting all that is gold
in the twilight into its chill self.
He pauses to admire its selfless composition
of chair and sofa, gold shirt, gold face,
and high-ceilinged windows shadowed
by the living world.

He had dreamed of purity but gotten this
embarrassment of wives and children and
friends of his small fame.
Was he the man who'd said,
"The poet is a god, his creation
more necessary than the `merely real."'

Drinking alone is like writing, he thinks,
a pleasure made sweet by selfishness.
He holds the glass with both hands
as an altar boy holds a candle,
a candle which burns at wavelengths
sensible only to the nose, slowly
exhausting the room's oxygen.

Everything leads him back to death.
It is his science and complaint.
He conjures the dead to tell him
what he already knows and refuses
to believe. They stand there chatting
as at a party, hands by their sides
with nothing to hold. They eye him
tenderly, as if remembering his sweetness
as a child, his gentleness with pets,
the way he guarded his sister.
They are waiting for him to join them,
waiting to gather his immense and frustrated love
into the darkness pouring into the room.

Copyright © 2011 Lee Rossi All rights reserved
from Wheelchair Samurai
Plain View Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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