Friday, March 11, 2016

"Tropical Watercolor: Sarasota"

Summer sings not far away, and we both know
The errors we've made. The sloped shoulders
Of those palms in the middle distance
Darken; the palms stand solitary as guards.

Summer sings, and against those walls
The late May light has sweetened, the palms
Sigh a little, fronds swaying in the breeze,
Making a sad watercolor of the square.

A mackerel sky frames the square, the square
We dreamed failed us in this place we'd come to
To find ourselves again as in a mirror.
Love, this is the square that failed.

I broke myself trying to make myself strong
For you. Dusk gilds white buildings, and smoke
From my cigarette floats toward the stars
That aren't there yet, the stars we used to desire.

They are a vast absence, reminding me
I don't believe in anything anymore except
The difficulty of everything for men and women.
Your remembered ghost is the ghost of my grandmother

Walking here endlessly in a black dress,
Shadow lost among the shadows of palms
On this square that failed, blocks from the sea.
I have run out of life, for what?

I have run out of life from the repetition
Of our moving only from mirror to mirror,
Catching our reflections in shop windows
And finding them less real than mannequins.

- by Joe Bolton, from "The Last Nostalgia"

2 comments:

Pier Roberto Giannelli said...

The topic is tacitly avoided--but I think that he was secretly gay.

arch.memory said...

This is the first I've publicly heard of it, but I've long wondered about it: his poetry harbors that sense of loss and fragility that I've often associated in male poets with gayness.