Wednesday, February 23, 2011

His Bowl

His bowl. You sat through the sermon for this.
Los Angeles filled with infamous fog.
The drone of the freeway was over there.
He’d like to dosvedanya all this crap,
but he had no car. He had his laptop.
His bag full of a church’s history
and his own. A week in Lecumberri
made a believer of him when they let
him go. That was only fifty years old,
give or take a few foggy London days
and nights. He went to Paris now and then
to see if he could still speak French. He could.
He even wrote a poem if he could,
if he could find no other way to get
it out of his craw. If that didn’t work
he would walk on the beach and talk to gulls.
Reynolds had his resources and used them
sparingly, after all he was now old.
Or so they said, who knew all about age.
Friends of his died, those like Borges he read
still, Norman Thomas di Giovanni’s
renderings, secular breviary
though it was, you could do better than that
without learning Spanish in a college
as he had learned Russian in the army
to get the duty no one else could land
who didn’t know Greek, Latin, or Francais.
There was the night in Austin Borges said,
That voice! Is that Tim Reynolds? and it was.
He had a certain cachet then, a kind
of reputation, as a good poet
who knew more than verse and could hold a job
in Classics, getting out and all around
the planet when time came to catch a breath
of the new, or new to him, like Pound said,
Make it new. Well, he had. His lines were lean
and staggered in the rhythms of his speech
weaving their way carelessly, so it seemed,
yet only he could read them the right way
and left, leaving the audience hungry
if not happy, ready to buy the book
and read it page by page, remembering
at first, then taking it in, making it
their own yet never as new as it was.

(23 February 2011)

copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander

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