November 15, 2008


                              Fixing emblazoned zones and fiery poles,
                              Arranging, deepening, enchanting night.
                                                            “The Idea of Order at Key West”

He does it wrong, but not as we do,
in little gaffs and fumblings, but so it stuns,

astonishes, so that the head of bungle
swallows the tail of catastrophe:

a chase as rounded as a villanelle
sucks in half of Paris

as it builds toward closure,
where it meets itself, erupting a rosette

of patrol cars, fire trucks, sopranos,
kitchen sinks, and leaving the Chief

minus another digit. Think of it:
to have a genius so magnetic. Who wouldn’t

take the lumps and contusions
to have the world always tumbling at our feet,

its darkness crystallized; who would balk
at saying “Minkey” and “Beump” if we could change

the muddle into measurements of light,
gems in a lush kaleidoscope.

—William Trowbridge
first appeared in Tar River Poetry

Posted by dwaber at 01:10 PM

November 14, 2008


The giveaway’s the eyes: no real elan,
apologetic, the focus out of whack
as I pedal onto the wire to show I can

compose a villanelle, like anyone
who, through with nets and tethers, has the knack,
whose eyes should wellneigh radiate elan

despite the skimpy audience’s deadpan
stare, who’s finally able to attack
the line the uninitiated doubt they can.

“There’s better music in a broken fan,”
I hear old timers sigh, jarring me back
to where my eyes bleared from low elan,

when I lost balance and a quarter of my tan.
I’m breathing hard, confronted with my lack
of poise on the wire, trying to show I can

prevail when shit’s inquiring after fan.
I’m almost there, dear friend; don’t turn your back:
just look at them film me now, pumping with elan,
wired on closure, this beauty in the can.

—William Trowbridge
first appeared in Artful Dodge.

Posted by dwaber at 03:40 PM