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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

For my friend who is not jaundiced

For my friend who is
not jaundiced, but sees the world
and wants to yell, "aagh".

Villanelle at Sundown

Turn your head. Look. The light is turning yellow.
The river seems enriched thereby, not to say deepened.
Why this is, I'll never be able to tell you.

Or are Americans half in love with failure?
One used to say so, reading Fitzgerald, as it happened.
(That Viking Portable, all water spotted and yellow--

remember?) Or does mere distance lend a value
to things? --false, it may be, but the view is hardly cheapened.
Why this is, I'll never be able to tell you.

The smoke, those tiny cars, the whole urban millieu--
One can like anything diminishment has sharpened.
Our painter friend, Lang, might show the whole thing yellow

and not be much off. It's nuance that counts, not color--
As in some late James novel, saved up for the long weekend
and vivid with all the Master simply won't tell you.

How frail our generation has got, how sallow
and pinched with just surviving! We all go off the deep end
finally, gold beaten thinly out to yellow.
And why this is, I'll never be able to tell you.

Donald Justice

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

No loons. Hmph.

G Boyd said...

Present company excepted.

Anonymous said...

Seriously. We want the loons back. Loons or bust!

Anonymous said...

Don't make me scroll down for the loons!

Shazam said...

This is a cool poem. I figured the website you have the link to, "beaten out to yellow", would be related. But what in the hell is that site and why would you link to it?

Anonymous said...

"beaten out to yellow peril"

Jimmy Constantine said...

So if the gold were really really thin - say one micron - he would call it yellow. This is stupid. Has he ever heard of "yellow gold" - duh. Is this the same website that had the cooler poem about the loon? My friend thought this was the loon site.

Frank Booth said...

Loyal TubalCain readers will probably want to conduct some sort of intervention with the mysterious "g boyd" since (s)he only seems able to moderate comments about every eleven weeks. The latency really detracts from the user experience. Frank likes to have a positive user experience.