"...on one side lay the ocean..."
Standing between the city and imagination
I hear the gravel of hurt faces whisper:
" We are the huge electrons of your passion:
oh leave the mad canaries and the lilywhite boys
for into the current there has crept disease;
we are of radium, we are decaying stuff,
thought as bent as a brook will sharpen angles:
the little mole is dying of diseased love.
" See how the swarming harridan ferments in marshes
of soft thighs, and the insistent sewer unfolds
an aphrodisiac spindle; how the blushes
of newborn lust anger the impending limb.
There is no line or diver in the stream
whose wild dolphins will not pause to save
the gentle bridegroom cowering from the indignity,
and the brutality, of achieved love.
" The unachieved is harder, though; when each confesses
into a darkness, into a serpent air.
Society is all its lonelinesses;
but you, or we, are haunted by the curing flesh
the poison body a despairing wish
for the broad arrow of kisses, for the knife
and prison of sexed hands. Have we an hour
not crying for the fullness of this confident love?
" Thunder's upon the wasteful brotherhood of men,
clouding your darling photographs, your creased
unhappy letters. If you turn again
towards your entowered happiness, the comfort of
dreams that for yesterday and unresolved love
work in the symbols of the mask and scorpion
- thunder's upon the beauty and the pleasure of that slim
nostalgic watcher among Englishmen.
" The little mole is dying. For the maniac song
curls in these gutters like a guilty blood;
and all the streets you answer and their echoes ring
with crooked nickel bells, a creeping wilderness
of commerce and of crushed unmeaning faces.
And the worse desolation of ourselves, our lives
between two substances: bringing you need
for the long chords of your concurrent loves.
" Tomorrows are all earth; but yesterdays return
unchanging now the bittern earthworm or
the creature with hurt hands: something is born
and everlasting in your lover's-transience."
Be still: I know the sweetness and violence,
the bitterness and splendour of your twisted motion;
I hear the patient gravel of a twofold love
between the city and imagination.