Please note that the poems and essays on this site are copyright and may not be reproduced without the author's permission.


Monday, 22 March 2010

Ron Padgett: Champion


.

File:Top of Atmosphere.jpg




I've always wanted my life to be more like

Henri-Pierre Roché's Jules and Jim

You Angelica and Tom have made it more that way


For you are careless and gay outside

troubled and deep inside

the way the ocean is when it's filled with sharks

or gay and careless inside

deep and gloomy without

the way clouds move over sunlight in water

or both at the same time

like when you're a citizen of two nations at once

and you go back and forth


Tonight I'm going back and forth

in time, thinking about how we met and what we said

and what we did and where with whom

and what we'll be doing

what we'll be doing exactly one year and a day from now

and how it's almost saddening how

nothing can be better than it is right now

which is great

though it suggests Disaster

like being shot in the eye by a nutty killer at sundown

or waking up one night to realize you are from Mars

I'm very glad neither of you are from Mars

because we'd have to wonder what we really feel about each other

and now we're free to be taken anywhere by our feelings


Do you know that everyone is uncorking great kind feelings

toward you?

And if we don't always show it

it's our tough luck, isn't it?

And if you disappear into colorful California

already dim New York will positively blanch


Now I will say something about drinking

Côtes du Rhone 1964 was a terrible year

But Tom and Angelica 1968 will be a great one

even if you disappear into colorful California


Tonight as I stand inside the rainbow of nuptial bliss

thinking of your rainbows

which are edging toward one another

to make a kiss

I am jealous of you Tom

because Angelica is marrying you

instead of me

and of you Angelica

because you are a girl marrying Tom

and I can't even be a girl

since I am already myself who is a man

if you get what I mean


The preacher calls you Man and Wife

and I think as time goes on

the "and" will grow between you

and assume a character of its own

the way a baby assumes one

and you don't have to call it Andy or Anne

or Love

"And" is enough


And I never did like Marianne Moore's poetry

very much

until tonight when I noticed her poem "Marriage"

You were Adam and Eve in the poem

and I was Marianne Moore

I was at Lewis and Anne's

it was their book

the one John Ashbery reviewed

I bought the paper and walked home

Times under arm

through more thoughts of you

falling in around me

the way you fell into my life bright

dei ex machinas





Champion: Ron Padgett, 1968/2010



Top layers of the earth's atmosphere leading to space: photo by NASA Earth Observatory, 2006

6 comments:

TC said...

The great poet and great friend RP was the best man at our wedding forty-two years ago. He is still the best man today.

We are reminded of this.

phaneronoemikon said...

what a sweety!

STEPHEN RATCLIFFE said...

Thanks Tom, caught a glimpse of this yesterday, now get to read it -- Ron's "Marriage" poem (in which MM "appears" w/ her marriage poem), and YOU "appear" forty years ago (how amazing! congratulations!), moon still up there above the clouds above the oceans of the world . . . .

3.23

silver edge of sun rising above shoulder
of ridge, song sparrow calling on branch
in foreground, waves sounding in channel

as it begins to be from now
on, where there is sky

one who looks shows himself,
appears, and “is there”

cloudless blue sky reflected in channel,
shadowed green slope of ridge across it

TC said...

Lanny,

Yes, ain't he?


And good morning Steve, thanks once more for reminding us of the world,

as it begins to be from now
on

Dale said...

Tom, this comes late, but Happy Anniversary to you and Angelica!

TC said...

Many thanks Dale; and you know I have always considered you and H as, however belatedly and of course mostly through inadvertence, virtual parties unto this union; if only by a sort of informal familial extension, your elder son having got stuck with my name thus providing us a virtual grandchild; the blessing entirely ours of course.