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13th of November 2018


“The Old Professor’s Book”

Audio: Read by the author.

Evening blooms in heat a braying of bellsfrom August Town; my mind fizzlesover “A Grammarian’s Funeral,” its sporadic arcwelding and breaking the question, how toalign poetry with truth. A stalled elevation,returning in my old professor’s blightmarginalia, his book, offered abruptly,taken, stowed away, now posthumously examined:fragile pencil webbings of flickered exclamations,impatient the way he paced the blackboard,erased a word (“meteors”), hurled glancessomewhere far off, beyond me, himself

a boy-comet, weeping to his duty.Once I strayed to the tubular steel chairchained in a corner, glistening sweaton one leg, our eyes wounded appraisalmet there and he cracked the air, chargedme pick up Browning’s chorus. I couldn’t.He died. His pupil flowered later intothe voltage of self-alienating poetry,away from that moribund grammarian’sblind reluctance. Still, as moving ironwill fuse and repel, by his book, I amthe unspared prodigal of his abuse.

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