#39, From GLARE by A.R. Ammons

the petunias are, this morning,
bewept with dew: they focus intensely

downward, their pale undersides topside,
overarching flops: still, but, yet,

indeed, it’s rained, in a summer of
the least rainfall eve, the lawns

ghastly dry, some leaves falling before
fall, the lilacs crinkled yellow,

the ivy ever sere: fungus and mold,
I suppose, have been put to rout:

that’s probably good longer term for
roots and general soil condition:

but the ground cover (paschysandra)
looks wilted: so when

I got up this morning and saw
reflecting pools of rain out along

the road’s edge, I did a passamezzo:
there’s a breadperson down at the

market I could look at all day: you
may think I have said breadperson

because I shouldn’t say breadman or
because I wouldn’t want my wife to

know if it’s a breadwoman: I can’t
say one way or the other because

that would be gender differentiation
and might suggest that looks have

something to do with taste: but I
can’t stand and look at him or her

all day because that would look
foolish and he or she would start to

notice, and nothing is really quite
easy in the world: I can’t even say

what I would stand and look at all
day: we are tied round with ties:

and lies: we are lie-tied and
tie-laid: the world is ashen with

flash and burn, desiring and desisting,
revealing and retching: why do people

not want things eased away instead of
wired to the highly charged: is the

disorganization of the languid so
scary: not, for me, as scary as the

crises of fear: tranquilized–oh
that has been my missing paradise

so long, and its lack too long my
hell: with nothing, thank goodness,

to be miserable over, I’m miserable
over nothing: but it makes no difference

what becomes of me now because I’m already
become of: unless, of course, I could

write a good line: I could spell out
my dream along a good line some beauty

might take a turn to, and then we
would be toe to toe on the floor,

the music swaying us and educating
our wishes and edging us toward the

closure that is our temporary but
essential solution: strip typing is

like strip mining: you peel the
surface off things shoving clutterment

downhill, heaping hunks, spewing
grit, filling cracks, riddling shale,

making news out of old geology:
massive millings: my strip typing

says little but can be understood:
whereas, many things so dense they’re

very meaningful and hard to know:


(1997)

Note: Glare is a book-length poem (294 pages) divided up into 117 segments.

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