I stopped to pick up the bagel rolling away in the wind, annoyed with myself for having dropped it as if it were a portent. Faster and faster it rolled, with me running after it bent low, gritting my teeth, and I found myself doubled over and rolling down the street head over heels, one complete somersault after another like a bagel and strangely happy with myself.
And this weird, ridiculous, desperate and lovely poem…He sounds so depressed. Obviously everything that he describes as not being love, can be love. Love of the small things in your day. A commitment not to draw attention to drama- which is fine, if you work through the drama at some point. Anyway. It is interesting to see his muted style.
Rescue the Dead
Finally, to forgo love is to kiss a leaf,
is to let rain fall nakedly upon your head,
is to respect fire,
is to study man’s eyes and his gestures
as he talks,
is to set bread upon the table
and a knife discreetly by,
is to pass through crowds
like a crowd of oneself.
Not to love is to live.
To love is to be led away
into a forest where the secret grave
is dug, singing, praising darkness
under the trees.
To live is to sign your name,
is to ignore the dead,
is to carry a wallet
and shake hands.
To love is to be a fish.
My boat wallows in the sea.
You who are free,
rescue the dead.
From: Contemporary American Poetry edited by Donald Hall
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