The Birth of Modern Poetry
by Ron Smith
Chucked out of the Academy,
he sails straight
to a pastry shop
where the darkness laps
the gossip in his head,
the whispers. That line
lashed to that gondola:
how it goes slack, goes taut.
exists in order
to make people think,”
he will tell the daughter
he can’t yet imagine and certainly
does not want. Does he know
what he wants? A good pasta and something
potable. Liquid darkness and sputtering tapers--
hard as gems . . .
You can spend an evening
in the mask shop
those empty eyes. Who really cares
if he sinks or swims? Homer
and Isabel. Hilda and Bill. He eats, when he eats,
too fast. The knife’s silver edge: the grinding: that Yeats
he reads and reads: he’ll get
to goddamn London and change the world.
Which way to change it? How do you know?
You make it new, make it up as you go,
and you keep on moving.
[“The Birth of Modern Poetry” first appeared in Terminus 11, December 2014.]