Down on Clarence Street
the day is trying to re-
member how to rain.
Up here in the room
I’m trying to remember
how to teach. Grammar
Is what we both want,
a little fluency. The
way things went. Before.
—Sydney, 12 May 2006
I’ve been reading a canto
of Dante each night. Each night,
line by line, I circle down
deeper into the Divine
Comedy. It’ a hard road
even in terza ryma
and not especially funny.
Some nights I drag my feet. Hell,
I growl, here we are again.
Beside me my beloved
lies already. Why not, I
You have the gift of understanding dreams,
And this pride of lions rests in the den of your heart.
You are the dream of peace they sleep, it seems,
So, sleep, and know your self and find your part.
You have the gift of calming troubled kings
By telling them the truth in what they see.
Sad men will rain bad dreams upon all…
My daughter, not yet one,
crawls to my chair and takes my pens
and tries to steal the book I try to write in. This could be a metaphor;
but who knows? My son, fresh from the bath and naked yet,
steps into my boots. This could be another, but I hope not. I sit in the corner
of the thick of my life, and I think…
Sorry to bombard you
and that gets me thinking.
Now war, no matter
how good it feels
now and then,
is never a good idea. It never works
no matter how many thousand shiplike songs it’s launched.
But what I get thinking is we could do with some poems
like small arms…