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May 30, 2007

Birdsong of the Lesser Poet — by Josephine Jacobsen

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Exuding someone's Scotch in a moving mist,
abstracted as he broods upon that grant,
he has an intimate word for those who might assist;
for a bad review, a memory to shame the elephant.

Who would unearth a mine, and fail to work it?
His erstwhile hosts are good for fun and games
that brighten the lumpen-audience on the poetry circuit.
He drops only the most unbreakable names.

Disguised as a youth, he can assign all guilt:
his clothes proclaim a sort of permanent stasis.
With a hawk's eye for signs of professional wilt,
he weeds his garden of friends on a monthly basis.

And yet, and yet, to that unattractive head,
and yet, and yet, to that careful, cagey face,
comes now and again the true terrible word;
unearned, the brief visa into some state of grace.
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May 30, 2007 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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