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Once more Old Anonymous picks up his pen. What shall he write about this time? The eternal verities have turned out less than eternal. Once again endless love has ended. He ponders composing an ode to his long time sidekick Death, but as his own departure draws near their friendship has grown problematic. The pen of the poet hangs in mid-air like an arrested rocket. The world in a grain of sand, the worm in the heart of the rose—the old subjects in slinky gowns execute their turns along the runway of his imagination. At times, Anonymous thinks, it’s necessary to wait, and then wait some more. Clocks gobble minutes like salted nuts as today’s struggle between the brutal and pragmatic flails away a stone’s throw from the poet’s disregard, by the glare of the burning library, beneath the shadow of the deserted school.
“The Poet’s Disregard” from The Day’s Last Light Reddens the Leaves of the Copper Beech, copyright 2016 by Stephen Dobyns, BOA Editions, Ltd.