Sunday, May 11, 2014

"The Name of Desire"

The Holiday Inn Vanderbilt, Nashville 

After the many-colored but mostly blue
Seasons of our two solitudes—the hours
Of longing and the flight from longing, the years
Spent remembering as if memory were true—
We stand together on a balcony
Above the city of losses, the city of lights
Bouncing back off a starless sky, the city
Where we'll try to save this night from the death of nights.
Ours has become a life in which the self
And the self's other begin to anticipate the chances
Taken in the name of desire. Desire:
That sweet song the body sings to itself,
Or under the best of circumstances
The song two bodies sing to each other.

--Joe Bolton

Sunday, May 04, 2014

"Letter to N.Y." by Elizabeth Bishop

For Louise Crane

In your next letter I wish you'd say
where you are going and what you are doing;
how are the plays, and after the plays
what other pleasures you're pursuing:

taking cabs in the middle of the night,
driving as if to save your soul
where the road goes round and round the park
and the meter glares like a moral owl,

and the trees look so queer and green
standing alone in big black caves
and suddenly you're in a different place
where everything seems to happen in waves,

and most of the jokes you just can't catch,
like dirty words rubbed off a slate,
and the songs are loud but somehow dim
and it gets so terribly late,

and coming out of the brownstone house
to the gray sidewalk, the watered street,
one side of the buildings rises with the sun
like a glistening field of wheat.

—Wheat, not oats, dear. I'm afraid
if it's wheat it's none of your sowing,
nevertheless I'd like to know
what you are doing and where you are going.