Quietly Off-Key

By | 1 August 2010

~ Donald Justice


A song went looking for light,
But that is another story.

Cities burn behind us, the lake
Glitters: Do not bother with odes,

My son, an elegy is preparing itself
For the suicides of 196__

The grandfathers holding this poem —
It was his story, it would always be

His story: June 13, 1933 —
Know (like a deserted beach,

A map of love, nostalgia) one
May depend on these old cemeteries.

The poet: re: the question of
Self-portrait as still-life,

The classic landscapes of dreams,
Unflushed urinals, & his voice

Through the smoke & dull flames
Of purgatory …

When the lights go on uptown,
X, you would not recognize me

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