a commingling sky
a semi-tropic night
that cast the blackest shadow
of the easily torn, untrembling banana leaf
or Quebec! what a horrible city
so Steubenville is better?
the sinking sensation
when someone drowns thinking, “This can’t be happening to me!”
the profit of excavating the battlefield where Hannibal whomped the Romans
the sinuous beauty of words like allergy
the tonic resonance of
pill when used as in
“she is a pill”
on the other hand I am not going to espouse any short stories in which lawn mowers clack.
No, it is absolutely forbidden
for words to echo the act described; or try to. Except very directly
bong. And tickle. Oh it is inescapable kiss.
Marriages of the atmosphere
are worth celebrating
where Tudor City
catches the sky or the glass side
of a building lit up at night in fog
“What is that gold-green tetrahedron down the river?”
“You are experiencing a new sensation.”
if the touch-me-nots
are not in bloom
neither are the chrysanthemums
the bales of pink cotton candy
in the slanting light
are ornamental cherry trees.
The greens around them, and
the browns, the grays, are the park.
It’s. Hmm. No.
Their scallop shell of quiet
is the S.S. United States.
It is not so quiet and they
are a medium-size couple who
when they fold each other up
well, thrill. That’s their story.
James Schuyler, “Freely Espousing” from Collected Poems. Copyright © 1993 by James Schuyler. Used by permission of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, LLC, www.fsgbooks.com. All rights reserved. Caution: Users are warned that this work is protected under copyright laws and downloading is strictly prohibited. The right to reproduce or transfer the work via any medium must be secured with Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC.
Source: Collected Poems
(Farrar Straus and Giroux, 1993)