After Wallace Stevens
by John Martino
Her terrace was the sand at night,
by the fire: “The difficulty to think
at the end of day is equal to living
in a tragic land. Every time the bucks
went clattering over Oklahoma,
the lilacs withered in the Carolinas.
Just as my fingers on these keys pour
the unhappiness out, the exceeding
brightness of the early sun rises
above the forest of the parakeets,
and brings a welcome at the door
to which no one comes. There are no
bears among the roses. No blackbirds
in those twenty snowy mounts.
Unpurged by epitaph, indulged at last,
only the rich remember the past,”
she sang beyond the genius of the sea
in that November off Tehuantepec,
a tune beyond us as we are. One might
as well argue with the Evening Star.
John Martino is a writer, educator, and avid traveler currently residing in Hong Kong with his partner, Xiuli. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in North Dakota Quarterly, Another Chicago Magazine, Connotation Press, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, and the anthology Envy: 7 Deadly Sins Vol. 6 from Pure Slush Books, among others.
Artist: Thomas Jordan