James Schuyler [USA]
For a selection of taped readings by the poet, click below:
Greetings from the Chateau
Why did Massenet compose Thaïs?
He rests his arms on the pond balustrade.
He has bread in his hands.
Pianos sing in the palace,
The Empress bathes, the Emperor
climbs short flights of library steps
to take down a world's smallest atlas.
Alas. It is very hot and the carp
flew off into the wood, Rosa's bull
boarded up in the Square. "Dinner.
Champagne at five. My letters answered.
Remember to mend the tape recorder."
delighting another dusk, and the canal to the sky.
Their blue eyes pick up and discharge
the green of their jackets, or ties.
Men, with clear-green eyes unnerve angels.
They maybe of another order,
between us and heaven like the atmosphere
between us and the sky, appointed
to clarify deathbed facts.
Unable to talk with us,
they know about is and argue about the facts
and the motives we may not know ourselves.
They arguing might be clarifying
to those who know them whom they do not know
as they know us who do not know them.
We see them of course,
talk with them and even touch then,
are struck by their glances.
We show them our secret, however ill-kept.
They tell us nothing about themselves.
They seem to tell everything,
what they are is obvious when we see them.
We accept as facts our conjectures about them
we were not aware we had made.
They help make real our conjectures.
and perhaps are what we become for part of life
without knowing afterward.
This is no stranger then their rooms,
the inside of a cloud of red dust (it is, however, a room),
a room grown with lichens with a moon in it,
or wherever we pass them, or a roof.