I have been to Madness: it is a house
strongly built, not created.
It looks not at all like the House of Usher
and has been freshly painted.
All the others left when I came there,
drove away in carriages with high-rimmed wheels;
in my bedroom was a lopsized painting,
a pencil, a stone, a box of one-inch nails.
I sat down on the stairs and wrote
about the cobwebs flickered in the wind,
the dark replenishment of love,
the sun, the sun, the sun, the sun.
Nothing reached me there, not politics,
not arms sawed of, not images
of women with soft dresses on, not friends
who knew the cure for curing agonies.
I had a television and I had my scotch,
two dreams—though one was deathly ill;
sufficient cigarettes, an essay book
including Faulkner saying mankind shall prevail.
In the kitchen, there was food enough;
the waterfaucets and the toilets worked;
a picture window stared into the sea—
Atlantic or Pacific—I don’t remember which.
I remember writing up a storm
and sailing into it, my arms outspread.
Thinking that “a gentleness survives”,
I’d let myself be used and broken wide.
So here I was, in Madness, in the calm
rooms with draperies and wicker chairs;
I saw the Future coming down
into a place without me, without doors.
How did I leave? I left. That’s simply all.
I left some zinnias in the upstairs vase,
did not shut the windows; set the phonograph
low volume and the tone control to bass.
I met the carriage coming through the trees;
the silent driver tipped his stovepipe hat.
The taste of poppyseeds was in my mouth;
the horses whinnied and the long whip cracked.
© Dick Allen
Some other random works of this poet:
- Another Knowledge
- Cloud No Bigger than a Man’s Hand
- Still Waters
- Frisbee Zen Master
- Oh Rousseau, Rousseau
- “The Little Hurts”
- Husband, Wife
- Escape Velocity
- Almost Nowhere in the World, as Far as Anyone Can Tell
- Being Taught
- “God Gives to Every Bird Its Proper Food But They Must All Fly For It”
- The Adult Section
- Notes toward a Credo
- Dwelling in the Moment
- High Horses
- The Flippant Zen Master
- The Neykhor
- Gilding the Lily
- Feeling the Day
- The Commuter
- GRANDFATHER’S JIGSAW PUZZLE
- Calligraphy Accompanied by the Mood of a Calm but Definitive Sauce
- Tip Of The Iceberg
- It Was Always Meant To Be You
- Memo From The Desk Of Wallace Stevens
- Patches of Sunlight
- Texas Prison Town
- The Report
- A Zen Sonnet
- James Dean Walking Along a Wet Street in New York in 1955
- What You Have to Get Over
- Barge Lights on the Hudson
- Poem for My 36th Birthday
- Chinese Writing
- For Every Artist — Who Remains Unknown
- Zen Living
- The Puzzling Beauty of the Here and Now.
- The Last Ditch
- In the Valley of the Shadow of Death
- The Persistence
- The Same River, Twice
- Blue Funk
- The Accompanist
- The Poet at Eighteen
- Old Zen Master