Our Wallace Stevens Tour
by William Doreski
Cruising the streets of Hartford
in your open electric car
we’re efficient as two gophers.
This is our Wallace Stevens tour.
Purple light puffs up and down
Asylum Street, where major men
still prowl in expensive suits
and chatter on their cell phones
like cedar waxwings in brush.
They don’t look as brave or enduring
as peasants, don’t roar like lions
in a desert, but murmur
their asides on oboes, obsolete.
Your tiny car whispers up
to the capitol. The gold dome
looks capable of any crime.
Bronze doors disgorge the governor,
who presents us with a plaque
of ebony polished to blind us
to the sins the ghostly sequences
of the mind have fostered. We thank
his honor and whisper away
to Westerly Terrace to peer
at the dead poet’s sun porch.
You observe that the batteries
are fading, so we plug the car
into a neighbor’s outdoor socket
and recharge at his expense.
Now to Cedar Hill to consider
how deeply human remains
should decently conceal themselves;
then back to New Haven to ran
all night in your flimsy apartment
with Yale’s fake Gothic gleaming
beneath a moon aged like cheddar,
the famous railroad hissing
its high-voltage serpent hiss
a hundred yards beyond our reach.
Copyright © 2008 by William Doreski.