Saturday At The Border
"Form follows function follows form .
Here I am writing my first villanelle
At seventy-two, and feeling old and tired--
"Hey, Pops, why dontcha give us the old death knell?"--
And writing it what's more on the rim of hell
In blazing Arizona when all I desired
Was north and solitude and not a villanelle,
Working from memory and not remembering well
How many stanzas and in what order, wired
On Mexican coffee, seeing the death knell
Of sun's salvos upon these hills that yell
Bloody murder silently to the much admired
One wonders if a villanelle
Can do the job.
Granted, old men now must tell
Our young world how these bigots and these retired
Bankers of Arizona are ringing the death knell
For everyone, how ideologies compel
Children to violence.
For its own sake is war.
Have you this power? And must Igo and sell
Myself? "Wow," they say, and "cool"--this hired
Old poetry guy with his spaced-out death knell.
Ah, far from home and God knows not much fired
By thoughts of when he thought he was inspired,
He writes by writing what he must.
Is what he's found in his first villanelle.
Credit: Copyright © 1995 by Hayden Carruth.
Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, www.