Bell Poem

John Elsberg

1
Amid the bustle of the day
the only image in my mind
was a bell so large
that it needed a whole man's weight to ring.

2
And I would ring that bell
as a celebration,
acknowledging no other authority
than the rhythm of my pulse.

3
But everywhere I looked
the bells were broken or not
for one man's use.
I walked home in the heat

4
I turned on the air conditioner
and sat with a tall drink
in a stuffed chair
and felt lonely for a bell.

5
I had noodles for dinner
and saw in the settling shapes
intimations
of the Idea of a bell.

6
As night descended I went back
into the city
and wandered through back alleys
searching for lost bells.

7
I sought a woman as sleek
as a perfect peal
to help me catalog the places
where bells might be.

8
But all the faces on the street
were aging with the fear
of pain, or lying
about their interest in bells.

9
Now lathe me round with the high-
pitched television beam.
I almost see bells
in the snows and shadows.

10
In the thin air of a gray room
where no one comes or goes
I sway slowly like a bell
and clap, clap . . .

 

Links Atticus Books Richard Peabody Mondo Lucinda Ebersole Gargoyle Magazine Online Catalog Paycock Press Use this image map to navigate our site

| Paycock | Catalog | Gargoyle | Lucinda | Mondo | Richard | Atticus | Links