Reading In The Circle Square

Oh please let me read
before the acrobats arrive
to drive me batty
claim my turf
near the museum
or in Central Park

Crowds gather to
see the somersaults
and the gray makeup statue people —
a statue that moves; what
is the thrill?

So I say in my false bass
to carry my voice for three blocks
echoing off buildings:

“Carp not the day, but
kiss the past good-bye,
consume the meats of glory
while salad days are over,
green envy of youth begins,
and I say unto you:

friends, toilmen, bumpkins
lend me your eyes to spy;
I have come to bury Caesar salad
not to praise tyrants as Caesar
fishy and salty like an anchovy

See me praise the dance
on the graves of the grave,
and praise the praise
brought to ceremonials

Cheer me
and I shall be cheered,
for no one can tell me
what the sound is
of one tear clapping
in a thunder kiss
applauding the future”

The Vandals and the Visigoths
the hoodlums of heckler youth shout,
“Shut up Shakespeare creep”
(I translate from the key of F)

But I see her of sultry look
turning to pull me into her
like a force field
to tear me from this
mob of barbarians
into her poetic world of fantasy, and
yes, I’d be her Romeo

I turn to her and read:
“I woke up to my
longing for you; coffee
bit my dream
I stirred your cream

If I dress to seek you
will I know where
passion gallivants

You haunt me with
your many haunts. I
feel a phantom kiss
and miss the bliss from
flesh and ardor, belief bones
troubles massaged in a love whisper,
soothing music
melodic compassion

I am out to find you
driven like the mating birds;
walking, I hear the coos
but let them fly unknowing
for I have a gift for us:
wait ’til you
see me smile
everywhere I know you”

I fold down my sign
pack up
walk to her
wanting to ravish

She says,
what do you really do
—- Douglas Gilbert

Poetry Books By Douglas Gilbert