Robert Stark is already known to Poundians as the author of Ezra Pound’s Early Verse and Lyric Tradition. A Jargoner Apprenticeship (2012), which we will review in these pages shortly. In this issue of the little mag we would like to signal the publication of his volume of verse, A Middle North, April 2014.
We reproduce these poems by permission.
Imagine! In the sea
arms elbows sculpted
the ease of air
& light of verdigris
Thus I, Persephone
thus do I rapt descend
or rise unto your realm,
thus Love rises or descends
& dare it gasp?
FOR J. C.
I have your satchel on
the kitchen table
& I have ransacked your home
to no avail: what use
the alcoholic’s bag
his stash of sleeping pills and supplements?
Not quite dead you sit alone
not noticing the strangers
you are in their home now
& it is their game: you play
the fabled bird ashen, waiting
waiting for the moment
for the right moment to take off
A MIDDLE NORTH
The water turned late August & the pulse
of sun on Tulaby is met with deliquescent green.
September disappoints – that is the rule
this far north - & the exorbitant patience
of the all-year fishermen
tends to the shore.
Early dusk, not much noticed now,
will settle with disinclination on the lake
within the hour. A protracted summer
seemed it would be consummated here
at this time in this spot; how
& circumspect we were. Eutrophic heart
surface shivering & shagged in dulse;
our summer bearing has deserted us,
our love is lakish now. You idle in your work
& I separately revert
to an accustomed yearning:
Articulate and ravenous, we have been cruel
as much as blind; this leewarding
together here on Tulaby is not a kindlier
compulsion though it may be we cannot subdue
the stars or bare in compass with the poles
of the magnetic & the true.
The night we sped towards the casino
in our week-old rental car two lanes
were scarcely wide enough; a mad diversion,
agonic & apart, to peer into
the void of the road, the void of the slot machine