Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

First Line: Orange zinnias growing wild at the blunt base of the tower of babel
Subject(s): History; Historians

Orange zinnias growing wild at the blunt base of the Tower of Babel.
Bright-blue glass and the blown-out footing of a Polish cathedral.
Three billy goats slaughtered by a farmer who is then slaughtered
by a drunk regiment of soldiers. The white bones of those soldiers.

The struggling body that is hanging from the rampart of a bridge.
My brother who loves the great failure of words to signify things.
Thomas, Thomas, Thomas, Thomas until sound unhinges and there
is nothing. You tell me history is just fragments, pieces and ruins.

You and I sitting together in a room of a house a hundred years old.
One whiskey bottle half-empty on the broad oak table between us.
The moted, white-hot light of a reading lamp on your long black hair.
Quiet filling the house and Kathleen moving around some downstairs.

Whiffs of tobacco wafting faintly from where you pace all night.
My long sleep and the echoic narrative of dream's inordinate joy.
An old storybook read to children beginning Once upon a time . . . .
The ruins that become you. Ordinary things one devotes one's life to.


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