by Elton Glaser
Feature image: Odilon Redon. And Man Appeared; Questioning the Earth From Which He Emerged and Which Attracted Him, He Made His Way Toward Somber Brightness, plate 8 of 8 from “Les Origines”, 1883. The Art Institute of Chicago.
Rumple of clouds at sunset, low and pink,
Underbelly of heaven in the summer slack, and me
Depressed as a backdoor detective on a case of slow clues.
I’m never lonely as long as I have my own body
To interrogate, my mind with its whips and pincers.
I buckle at the slightest threat; I confess
In the high pure pang of a choirboy singing
At some ceremonious occasion for the faint of heart.
And now the hot night, the moon cool as a bishop
In a boudoir. What you can’t get over,
You must get past. Through a haze of smoke and rum,
What’s left of me squints at the odds and ends.
Elton Glaser, a native of New Orleans, is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Akron. He has published six full-length books of poetry, among them Pelican Tracks (Southern Illinois, 2003) and Here and Hereafter (Arkansas, 2005), winner of the Ohioana Book Award for Poetry.