In a siren voice the months are singing "Mood Indigo"
I must wash their aftertaste down with a quart of Lethe
for all the optimism I lost this winter. On shelves the
alphabetical friction of names irritates. I move letters
on the fridge, start a new work with "Every image is
a sun and you’re hot." Often it happens a patient will
announce he is going home, that he doesn’t like being old
and sick anymore. But at the first quiver of oncoming
doubt, after dumplings and beer at "Joe’s Shanghai,"
you can’t help but put the saw to my loftiest bough:
"We will climb no further." That’s when I retreat
like Keats to a balcony, splashing claret into an eyecup
of visionary charm, looking back at your posture and
haute command as you wrecked a kitchen for a sublime
risotto. Then slowly, as in a decade of Melvilles, I get
over the hump, like any miserable schlump.
Geoffrey Young's most recent book of poetry is Lights Out.