Robert C. Knox
I am a husband, father, rabid backyard gardener, and blogger on nature, books, films and other subjects based on the premise that there's a garden metaphor for everything. Still utopian and idealistic after all these years, I cover the arts for the Boston Globe's 'South' regional section. "My poems have been published recently by The Poetry Superhighway, Semaphore Journal, Scarlet Leaf Review, These and other journals. "Suosso's Lane," my recently published novel about the Sacco-Vanzetti case, is available at www.Web-e-Books.com.
STARTING POINTS: THREE POEMS FROM 1974
Author's Note: These poems were written by a twenty-something loner who had recently joined a “co-op” venture of similar types living in Cambridge, Mass. We published a slim poetry tabloid called “Dark Horse” and sold copies for next to nothing in front of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston -- on Sunday mornings when they opened the doors for free.
Our paths cross by accident,
and each is a little nervous.
I have a good excuse to be somewhere else,
but miss too much
and life goes to pieces.
We meet between post office and library.
I would like to postpone the conversation,
like all my chores –
but these few words
may make us allies.
Behind us a tree and a crow
and I would really like
to know what they are saying.
The season is announced: loud music, pointless smiles.
An old joke we pretend is very funny. The whole crowd
is blinking hysterically in the radiant dazzle of false
spring, like an old bear waking and putting his first
leg into his body. Or like twelve-year olds tricked
While nothing is at stake but a glance – a half-glance.
An eye snapping shut too soon like the sun going down
pink behind old brick, because it was not opened
We begin covering up with one hand what the other
gestures wants exposing Sure I’d like to sit on
your stage and blow my horn and take my clothes off
Mother, was it on days like these
that you took your first child
in the old gray Plymouth
to motor through the fleeing, gold light
to places where the Indians
gave up the ghost of summer?
You, the charioteer,
the strong, young overseer,
and I, your world-struck child,
curled in the smiling egg of childhood.
Where did we go?
to cemeteries in the home borough, Queens?
to your older sister’s in Baldwin?
to shrines with names like Long Beach, Jersey City?
Mother, the fantasy persists
each gift of a mild, November day.
A triumphant procession careers
through the sweet lands of baby flesh
touching each place
the world first touched me.
© 2017 Robert C. Knox
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