Mark Walsh

Three Alarm

Joseph Brodsky!
My first alarm,
I sing to your discarded cigarette filters,
your broken samovar, your Brooklyn cafes.
Across decades I look out from your
unknown future.

Charles Bukowski!
My mirror of failure,
I sing to your bowery, your handicapping
algebra, to your San Pedro lifestyle and
chicory cigarettes.  I call to you from
out the vagueness of eternity, imploring
you not to try. 

Richard Hugo!
My symphony of resemblance,
I sing to your overworked Duwamish,
to your Chevrolet miles through
Big Sky Country, and the taverns you
have forsaken to save one year. 

Man’s mind, stretched by new ideas, 
never retakes original shape.

Hear these words, O my deities, and sing.

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