Professing * Reflecting

Friday, April 28, 2006

Friday poem, James Tate

Beautiful New Mirrors Have Arrived

Of course that doesn't mean anything
by itself. You'd have to look into one
to be qualified, and even then your impressions
would be provisional, and I know you well enough--
parsimonious pepper pot--but who would want
that kind of tempation around the house,
there's work to do, there's so much stuff as it is
to pick up from the floor, polliwogs, firecrackers,
shrapnel of all kinds. And my studies, Retro-
gression and Requiem Shark, to name but one area
I am immersed in, and there must be at least ten others,
so a beautiful new mirror is really out of the question.
And yet there is at least one part of me that would
like letting go, adios lifeboat, adieu palm-lined avenues,
old rabbit's foot you mean nothing to me now.
And what then? Oscillate through the underlife,
no projects, no deadlines, family or friends--
that's no way to travel, save for the dead
and they have little choice in the matter.
And, besides, I know what I look like,
I've caught glimpses of a hungry, stalking thing,
or a weak and wretched creature about to drop.
None of that interests me. A very funny sight
is a flamingo having its lunch upside down in the water.




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