Poem fragment (James Schuyler).

(From the 48-page poem “The Morning of the Poem,” a poem of epic chitchat, a poem of window-watching and beverages and plants and seasons, which I read on the airplane and adored noisily in my cramped airplane seat.)

So many lousy poets
So few good ones
What’s the problem?
No innate love for
Words, no sense of
How the thing said
Is in the words, how
The words are themselves
The thing said: love,
Mistake, promise, auto
Crack-up, color, petal,
The color in the petal
Is merely light
And that’s refraction:
A word, that’s the poem.
A blackish-red nasturtium.
Roses shed on
A kitchen floor, a
Cool and scented bed
To loll and roll on,
I wish I had a rose
Or butterfly tattoo:
But where? Here on
My arm or my inner
Thigh, small, where
Only the happy few
might see it? I’ll
never forget that
Moving man, naked to
The waist a prize-
Fight buckle on his
Belt (Panama) and
Flying high on each
Pectoral a bluebird
On tan sky skin. I
Wanted to eat him up:
No such luck. East
28th Street, 1950.
How the roses pass.

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