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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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