Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Porchlight Coming On

I have written in past postings about my high regard for Weldon Kees, and of course my recently published poem took its inspiration from one of his. Here is the first poem of his that I ever read, many years ago in college. Even then I was entranced by his quiet, lyrical, ominous style.


The porchlight coming on again,
Early November, the dead leaves
Raked in piles, the wicker swing
Creaking. Across the lots
A phonograph is playing Ja-Da.

An orange moon. I see the lives
Of neighbors, mapped and marred
Like all the wars ahead, and R.
Insane, B. with his throat cut,
Fifteen years from now, in Omaha.

I did not know them then.
My airedale scratches at the door.
And I am back from seeing Milton Sills
And Doris Kenyon. Twelve years old.
The porchlight coming on again.

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