Gargoyle 9
cover drawing by Ashby North
publication date 3/23/1978

The Poet Tires

Paul House

Astonished and made clumsy
And faltering too often,
The poet tires of these long
Evenings of Chopin, Verlaine,
And weird games upon the floor
Where the law of averages
Is consistently disproved.

Strange to think the girls I knew
Are ladies now, and carrying
Some small immortal baggage
Inside, flickering with life.
Crouching. Unsullied. With stumps
For legs and eye like a fish.
Sounds for all the world like love.

And I still in a rented room,
Drenched with- all this literature
Which pumps me full of wild beliefs
And the ability to squabble,
Dare to wish I might have come
And spilt my warmth into your life.
And you smelling of babies.

Already the wind begins
To creep through the heavy trees.
The sunlight rummages across
Some dull promontory where
It is squandered and rubbed out.
The poet tires of these long
Evenings demanding nothing.