Poet, novelist, critic
Characters treading not quite level pine
Boards number, first, Carafe, who’s sweating beads
Of coolant on her Delft-blue leaves and birds.
Then enter Sirloin, crusty, rare, supine,
Giving his aromatic agony
Away in pink tears drained into the dark
Platter’s symmetrically branching tree.
Sharp Knife starts bantering with Mrs. Fork—
Quips and metallic comments re Parsnip,
The fossil he’s been trying to butter up.
Pepper’s gambits are pungent, but poor Salt
Gets maudlin as the meal slows to a halt.
And now the attentive, worn-out Napkins, who move
Toward lips whose service, too, resembles love.
Alfred Corn reads poems in English, German, and French
Shakespeare, Sonnet 73, and etc.
Roving packs you eel your way
through pay no mind to what must, if they see,
look like a shadow loping along alone,
now slowing, stopping for the misted warmth
etched panes suffuse in the Hound and Rose's matched
bilateral doors. Ale glow that lights up half
of the fatman's baldpate football head,
left paw cupped to his mobile ear,
the splayed right cranking up and down
as his tenor wades alive-o into the rant.
Leave him behind then for that mid-bridge figure
(my body double?), more than half involved
with swirls and frills of foiled reflections
on the black stream coursing under …
A water no less cold than cash, it will
or will not clutch him to its heaving silk.