March 24, 2012
Three Poems

Invitation to a Voyage

 

this is the hour
of the small ear
& the sea’s all a case
of minds.  the splotched
ginkgo leaves attest
nothing more than
dogshat sidewalks.
the ancient dreams
of mariners marooned
in new cities are now
revealed—bacalao
cake, kimchi, an
empanada all on the same
block & sailors
go looking for love
unimpeded not asking
not telling whom they’ll meet
in the alleys
& downbeat hotels.
Time arrowed
through me
pinning an obsolete
self unaligned
with my profile
on Facebook
a blazing doubloon
to the mast

 

OK fern

 

OK fern
I’m your apprentice
I can now tell you

apart from your
darker sister ferns
whose intricate ridges

overlay your more
regular triangled fans.
Tell me what to do

with my life.

 

A Situation

 

Everything bending
elsewhere, summer
longer, winter mud &
the maples escaping
for norther zones . . .

Take it up Old Adam—
everyday the world exists
to be named.

Here’s a chair,
a table, grass.
A cricket hums
my Japanese name.

Skyscrapers
are stars.  Rocks.
Those were swell,
seasons.  So strange,
that heaven, that hell.

 

 

 

 


About the Author

Maureen N. McLane is the author of World Enough: poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010) and Same Life: poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008), as well as  two books of literary criticism, Balladeering, Minstrelsy, and the Making of British Romantic Poetry (Cambridge UP, 2008) and Romanticism and the Human Sciences (CUP, 2000).  Her book My Poets—in which criticism meets shadow memoir—will be published in June 2012 by FSG.


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