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Angel Hair feature

Tony Towle: Poem


Cover of Angel Hair anthology

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The lead drains from your heart on the left side,
and further down, on Third Avenue, people
seem to trail after you, on a sort of patrol
across from the cavernous idea of Queens,
my demand for it having created the supply,
like a beautiful four-room apartment for a hundred dollars
and furnished like a longing for the Forties,
a rich lemon or lime in a drink away from here,
the America of the Sixties harnessing our potentials.

The torch flies around our heads,
the manifesto sinks to the ground

from which it springs every spring,
as its metaphor is a metaphor for activity,
hanging above the shimmering soil
where we work as on a stupid shoulder of veal,
combined with it in a spurious oath of friendship
and leaving it as a party to a duel.

You sleep with the potato of metaphor in your stomach,
the novelty of an imminent American Baroque and the hair
resting on your arm like the full chill of a distant corps de ballet
and are happy page after page in glorious speculation
in whichever century speaks to you.

from Angel Hair 5, Spring 1968


Tony Towle working at Universal Limited Art Editions, West Islip, Long Island, 1966.  Rauschenberg's lithograph Accident in the background. Courtesy of Tony Towle
Tony Towle working at Universal Limited Art Editions, West Islip, Long Island, 1966. Rauschenberg's lithograph Accident in the background. Courtesy of Tony Towle


From Jacket’s Tony Towle author notes page, you can link to half a dozen or more Jacket pages where his work features or where he is reviewed or interviewed.


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