Friday, September 7, 2012

Tony Towle


The muse at daybreak stuttering, informs my bed,
pines in the scented winter air for poems,
and mumbles about the government and whether I should vote:

"The government stinks. Withhold your vote of red and white
its hidden sea and blue of politic sky
which forms the world and so to surround our realm."

Government would speak as well, from the vales of Abstraction
who on the death of Pound will ramble on once more,
their inbred elegance making you feel like a schmuck.
Milton of course could order these people around, God, Satan,
Liberty, Progress and the rest. To me God might say
You employ a distinctive style and I know who you are,
but you are not illuminating for me,
you do not give me any ideas, about myself or what I have done.

Satan: Since you deal only with your own activity
and in immeasurable vanity,
I will eventually bring you something you dislike,
and in phrase of unshakable metaphor
as with that you think to spin out your life.

Satan concludes: You will have more poems than you hope
but more than you wish, your finger pressed on a difficult line,
your tongue through a word's transparency,
but my older tongue of iron comes inexorably to cover yours
and in your future is of greater eloquence.

The day half gone the muse and its servants fled,
a sandwich gone through you in enormity to Philadelphia,
cheese and milk flowing through you and into Boston,
air on the way to Minneapolis.

--Tony Towle


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