From the book:
Like cast-off days, but they don't disappear,
they gather round the house. Old poems live
on scraps of disregard like mice, they love
the silence and are threatened by the new,
the work of genius fading like a flower;
the Word emerged to light and then withdrew.
Like a Mormon with his ancestors, I drag
a pile out now and then to try to shape--
by craft or surgery, seduction, rape--
these paupers to the greatness I'd felt sure
was ours. But still they stand with hands out, beg
for aid, trapped in their poverty of words.
They are my children. All are badly reared.
They throng around me now, mere artifacts.
Revise! Revise!, I cry, redeem the past.
I clutch my pen like St. George held his sword
when the dragon of his destiny drew near.
If my pen's a lance, then aspiration's gored.
Put them away. Back in the dark they breed
like mushrooms in my mind. I drag them out--
their blinking faces soon confirm my doubt;
worried over, sentenced to the dark once more
to hidden places where no one can read
except the mice. Who've seen it all before.
Robert Darling has one previous full-length collection, So Far, three chapbooks, and a book of criticism. He has also published poems, reviews and essays in a variety of periodicals in the United States, Canada, the UK and Australia. Darling is Professor in Humanities and Fine Arts at Keuka College.
Gleanings is a 92 page hand-stitched paper book with spine. $16.00
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