Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Adjunct English Teacher is standing in front of the Celebrate-the-Founding-of-Portland Monument looking bewildered. And yesterday I saw the Doddery Local Poet doing the same thing in the same place. I wonder what epiphanies or anti-epiphanies they're having in that spot. It's a very popular destination, but mostly because dog walkers are attracted by the trash can next to it. From my window I cannot discern anything out of the ordinary, but maybe there's a Certain Slant of Light or something. I should go check it out.

As I horn into their private lives, I stand comfortably here at my desk and stare north across the street, across the park, across the bay toward the water-treatment plant and the baked-bean factory. The cat sleeps on a yellow chair. On the bed behind me, sky-blue pillows and a bright white comforter are crisp and clean and fat and neat. My coffee cup is empty. Sunlight streaks the walls. The rosy buds of the begonia nod toward the light. The windowsill is lined with smooth black stones. Above my desk, a sepia ancestor stares down quizzically from the shelter of her elaborate frame. The doll-house is tidy and tiny and bright.

And now, suddenly, sentimentally, I think of Allen Ginsburg, writing in "Kaddish" of his dead mother, imagining her
looking back on the mind itself that saw an American city
a flash away, and the great dream of Me or China, or you
     and a phantom Russia, or a crumpled bed that never existed—
like a poem in the dark—

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