Thursday, July 28, 2011

 A Poem

Love 20 cents the First Quarter Mile

All right. I may have lied to you and about you, and made a 
few pronouncements a bit too sweeping, perhaps, and 
possibly forgotten to tag the bases here or there,
And damned your extravagance, and maligned your tastes, 
and libeled your relatives, and slandered a few of your 
friends, O. K. ,
Nevertheless, come back.

Come home. I will agree to forget the statements that you 
issued so copiously to the neighbors and the press,
And you will forget that figment of your imagination, the 
blonde from Detroit;
I will agree that your lady friend who lives above us is not 
crazy, bats, nutty as they come, but on the contrary rather 
And you will concede that poor old Steinberg is neither a 
drunk, nor a swindler, but simply a guy, on the eccentric 
side, trying to get along.
(Are you listening, you bitch, and have you got this straight?)

Because I forgive you, yes, for everything. I forgive you for 
being beautiful and generous and wise,
I forgive you, to put it simply, for being alive, and pardon 
you, in short, for being you.

Because tonight you are in my hair and eyes,
And every street light that our taxi passes shows me you 
again, still you,
And because tonight all other nights are black, all other hours 
are cold and far away, and now, this minute, the stars are 
very near and bright.

Come back. We will have a celebration to end all celebrations.
We will invite the undertaker who lives beneath us, and a 
couple of boys from the office, and some other friends.
And Steinberg, who is off the wagon, and that 
insane woman who lives upstairs, and a few reporters, if 
anything should break.

Oak Park, Illinois is famous in literary circles as the birthplace of the Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway.   But three years after Hemingway was born Oak Park saw the birth of the noted poet-novelist, Kenneth Fearing. He is probably best known for his novel The Big Clock and other novels, however he was also a poet of note and considered one of the most important writers to come into their own during the Great Depression of the thirties. After reading his poems it is perhaps not surprising to observe that, among other things, Fearing was an alcoholic and often seen as a mere proletariat poet. But I see more in his work, a great poet who was able to blend anti-romanticism and idealism into memorable messages and music-like moments of poetic experience.

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