Tuesday, August 3, 2010

"After Anacreon" by Lew Welch


When I drive cab
          I am moved by strange whistles and wear a hat.

When I drive cab
          I am the hunter. My prey leaps out from where it
          hid, beguiling me with gestures.

When I drive cab
          All may command me, yet I am in command of all who do.

When I drive cab
          I am guided by voices descending from the naked air.

When I drive cab
          A revelation of movement comes to me: They wake now.
          Now they want to work or look around. Now they want
          drunkenness and heavy food. Now they contrive to love.

When I drive cab
          I bring the sailor home from the sea. In the back of
          my car he fingers the pelt of his maiden.

When I drive cab
          I watch for stragglers in the urban order of things.

When I drive cab
          I end the only lit and waitful things in miles of
          darkened houses.

Source of the text – Lew Welch, Ring of Bone: Collected Poems 1950-1971, edited by Donald Allen. San Francisco: Grey Fox Press, 1994, p. 21.

TJB: Anticlassical conceit. We see the poet as cabdriver, a beacon in the land of the sleeping, passengers as readers & the drive itself as poem.

No comments:

Post a Comment

About Me