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October 2004  |  Jacket 26  Contents  |  Homepage  |  Catalog  |  Search  |

          Tom Raworth feature

      Michael Davidson: Vacant Weather

for Tom Raworth

I’m left holding the door,
the epitome walks through
an invisible myself who acknowledges
some vestige or prosthesis

but generally materializes
in a vacant air and heads for the elevator,
rising levels of abstraction
leave the head

empty, eyes gritty with undisclosed
amnesia once defended against
by memorization, Polonius’s
speech to his son performed

in the old folks home
or those lines in which mercy
becomes redundant,
you see, he pauses in the slow lane

and addresses rapt thousands
by the light change,
and we do, the king is in his counting
house measuring power,

I’m still holding the door, still
born in the grid, it’s getting expensive
to live in a world of light,
a replicant answers the call to Chaucer

and the students wrap themselves
around an eraser,
these are thoughts that occur in stress,
one for the street

and one the street displaces
count your blessings
empty porter,
vacant weather.

Jacket 26 — October 2004  Contents page
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