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Wallace Stevens On His Way To Work

Written by: David Wagoner | Biography
 He would leave early and walk slowly
 As if balancing books
 On the way to school, already expecting
To be tardy once again and heavy
 With numbers, the unfashionably rounded
 Toes of his shoes invisible beyond
The slope of his corporation.
He would pause At his favorite fundamentally sound Park bench, which had been the birthplace Of paeans and ruminations on other mornings, And would turn his back to it, having gauged the distance Between his knees and the edge of the hardwood Almost invariably unoccupied At this enlightened hour by the bums of nighttime (For whom the owlish eye of the moon Had been closed by daylight), and would give himself wholly over Backwards and trustingly downwards And be well seated there.
He would remove From his sinister jacket pocket a postcard And touch it and retouch it with the point Of the fountain he produced at his fingertips And fill it with his never-before-uttered Runes and obbligatos and pellucidly cryptic Duets from private pageants, from broken ends Of fandangos with the amoeba chaos chaos Couchant and rampant.
Then he would rise With an effort as heartfelt as a decision To get out of bed on Sunday and carefully Relocate his center of gravity Above and beyond an imaginary axis Between his feet and carry the good news Along the path and the sidewalk, well on his way To readjusting the business of the earth.



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