Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE INCORRIGIBLE DIRIGIBLE, by HAYDEN CARRUTH

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THE INCORRIGIBLE DIRIGIBLE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Never in any circumstances think you can tell the men from the boys. (or the
Last Line: I am sure it will be revived
Subject(s): Airships

Never in any circumstances think you can tell the men from the boys. (Or the
sheep from the goats.)
Nevertheless unavoidably and interminably -- up to a point! -- one observes
tendencies, the calculus
Of discriminative factors in human affairs. Alcoholism, for instance, is the
"occupational disease of writers"
(And a good fat multitone in the vox populi too, that sad song), and I cannot
but approve
My friends Ray Carver and John Cheever, who conquered it in themselves;
I cannot help, for that matter and to the extent I am friendly with myself at
Approving my own reformation, which began 30 years ago today, the 3rd September
Well, your genuine lush never forgets the date of his last one, believe me,
whether yesterday or yesteryear,
And one time I asked John, who had quit at 65, why he bothered. "At your age I
think I'd have gone on out loaded," I said.
"Puking all over someone else's furniture?" he answered, and much can be
From his typical compression of judgment. We were men as men go, drinking
coffee and squinting through cigarette smoke
Where we sat at a zinc-topped table at 7 o'clock in the morning.
We were men buoyant in cynicism.
Now I remember Lucinda de Ciella who drank a pony of Strega every morning before
And was sober and beautiful for ninety years, I remember her saying how peaceful
Were the Atlantic crossings by dirigible in the 1930's when her husband was
Ecuadorian ambassador to Brussels.
Such a magnificent, polychronogeneous idea, flight by craft that are lighter
than air!
I am sure it will be revived.

Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, P.O. Box 271, Port Townsend, WA
98368-0271, www.cc.press.org

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