Monday, November 3, 2008

Reading The Greats

I want to build something sturdy and wooden
like the desk you write on.
You built it on some weekend long ago,

and it is still so solid.

I could confidently jump up and down on its top
without fear of injury to me,
or fear of damage to it.

I want to build something like that.

And I will work on my car the way you work on yours,
and I will ignite glorious revolutions every day!
All while posing gallantly as the sun rises behind me.

And I will wear a careful beard.

And my eyes will squint, that old craftsman's wink:
born of a need to keep sawdust out of your eye,
but suggestive of so much more.

A man of grit will do what he has to do.

And hats! I want to wear hats unselfconsciously,
like they fit, like I belong in them. Same as you.
I will walk around town with my hat at an angle,

so everyone know's I'm game.

To watch you chop wood in the early morning is to behold
A rare art:

Your long, even strokes. The way you grunt as you dislodge
The blade from the stump...Masterful. It goes without saying
That you take your coffee black.

You belong to a better time, so I'm sending you back:

No hurry, but I've packed your bags. Feel free to write.
There’s some jerky in your coat pocket for the journey,
prepared by my wife.

It's not too far back to the bookshelf.

You should be able to make it by nightfall if you leave now.
At the very least, you'll make it to the bed stand:
It's been a long day. I wish you could've stayed longer,

but you were making me feel like a chump.

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