Robinson Walks Museum Mile

By Kathleen Rooney Kathleen Rooney
the ideal city building itself in his brain.
Is this mile magnificent? He’s lived here
 
a while, but the mile feels unreal. Robinson’s
training himself to act blasé. Do museums
 
amuse me? Yes, but not today. Would he
like to be in one? Of course. Why not?
 
An object of value with canvas wings,
an unchanging face in a gilt frame, arranged—
 
thoughtless, guilt-free, & preserved
for eternity. Robinson doesn’t want to be
 
exceptional. He knows he is. He wants to be
perceived exceptional. Trains plunge by, steam
 
rising from the grates. Sing, muse! of a man
ill-met at the Met. A man on his lunch break,
 
heading for a heartbreak, a break-up with Time.
A break-up with time? Feeling filled with ice,
 
the way you chill a glass, Robinson passes
the National Academy. He craves a sense
 
of belonging, not to always be longing. To be
standing in a doorway, incredibly kissable,
 
not waiting at the four-way, eminently missable.
Is this mile magnanimous? He wants it
 
unanimous: that this is his kind of town—
up & down & including Brooklyn. The sky
 
is clearing, but the isolation sticks.
Robinson’s not sure what a camera obscura
 
is for, but he thinks he should have
his portrait done with one. Faces
 
blur by as he heads toward the Frick.
Something used to photograph the obscure.

Kathleen Rooney, "Robinson Walks Museum Mile" from Robinson Alone. Copyright © 2012 by Kathleen Rooney. Reprinted by permission of Gold Wake Press.

Source: Robinson Alone (Gold Wake Press, 2012)

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Poet Kathleen Rooney

Subjects Living, The Mind, Arts & Sciences, Painting & Sculpture, Social Commentaries, Cities & Urban Life

Poetic Terms Couplet, Free Verse

 Kathleen  Rooney

Biography

Kathleen Rooney is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press. She is the author of the essay collection For You, For You I Am Trilling These Songs (Counterpoint, 2010) and the poetry collection, Robinson Alone (Gold Wake Press, 2012). With Elisa Gabbert, she co-wrote That Tiny Insane Voluptuousness (Otoliths, 2008).

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SUBJECT Living, The Mind, Arts & Sciences, Painting & Sculpture, Social Commentaries, Cities & Urban Life

Poetic Terms Couplet, Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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