"we can only do what it seems to us we were made for, look at this world with a happy eye but from a sober perspective.”

-W.H. Auden

Paul Plays a Bourrée

Paul Plays a Bourrée


Someone will plunder your life,

       break a wing & expect

               you to fly like a pleasant

                       tune, or a god.


So you play Bach’s bourrée

       at a party with friends.


You may not know how to read

       a score, or the hieroglyphs

               that will bless your own crypt.


Neither did the pharaohs read—

       and the prophets, at times,

               mere illiterate, bearded,

                       fasting fools on a binge.


Bach requires merely a dance,

       pas-de-bourrée, Jenny Wren,

               and the love of the bass line

                       as melody.


Bach believed in the sun

       like you believe in Cole Porter.


Some fan has memorized everything

       and writes your life down

               in the smallest books of the apocrypha.


Someone else, lovely, who has barely ever

       heard your name, she closes her eyes;

               she is learning to sing.

The Homesteader

February 12, Saturday Night