La Brea

By Glyn Maxwell b. 1962 Glyn Maxwell
Los Angeles. So just
guess what I saw: not the dust
or the wide jammed road, not that. And not
the park where enormous playthings eat

the shouting children. No, and the glass white
televised cathedral?—that
was a sight seen for the sin-
gle flashed moment, and gone.

I saw the tar-pits at La Brea,
where a dark endowed museum squats, and where
the thick blots of lake are watched,
and the haired replicas stroked and touched

by kiddies. There’s a tour:
the intelligible stone, the Short-Faced Bear,
the Dire Wolf, American Lion and Mastodon,
and Man with not much brain.

Well they did all make a dumb
choice that day! But my day was warm
and fascinating. Try to see these
tar-pits, in La Brea, in Los Angeles.

Glyn Maxwell, “La Brea” from The Boys at Twilight: Poems 1990-1995. Copyright © 2000 by Glyn Maxwell. Reprinted by permission of Glyn Maxwell.

Source: The Boys at Twilight: Poems 1990-1995 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000)

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Poet Glyn Maxwell b. 1962

POET’S REGION England

Subjects Living, Time & Brevity, Nature, Animals, Arts & Sciences, Humor & Satire, Social Commentaries, Cities & Urban Life

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 Glyn  Maxwell

Biography

Born in England to Welsh parents, Glyn Maxwell was educated at Oxford University and Boston University, where he studied both poetry and theater with Derek Walcott. This simultaneous training in two disciplines has enabled him to create innovative work across genres. Maxwell has written numerous verse plays as well as long narrative poems. The Sugar Mile (2005), a verse narrative set in a Manhattan bar a few days before . . .

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SUBJECT Living, Time & Brevity, Nature, Animals, Arts & Sciences, Humor & Satire, Social Commentaries, Cities & Urban Life

POET’S REGION England

Poetic Terms Quatrain, Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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