Sunday Stew: The North Beacon Hill Canto

by Koon Woon

I will pay for the breeze, brief as it is,
rippling across the shroud of green leaves
over the ravine, on this sun brightened day,
in my Beacon Hill neighborhood,
where life is idle, and Dylan Thomas would pronounce it good.

On rainy days even, it boasts of a solitary café:
[The Station],
as in a station of the metro,
“the apparitions of these faces in a crowd”
(a small intimate crowd it is),
“petals on a wet, black, bough.”

And would it have been worth it,
to order a tea, coffee, or cocoa,
marshmallow or orange marmalade
that will take you to another level of glad?
Like a walk from the house at a fresh hour of the morn,
inclined so slightly is 18th Avenue South,
spritely I jaunt past houses with eaves and green paint,
past shrubs manicured and the variegated roses that grace
communal pledges that we made
to rescue each from days that are sad,
as the gardens were mastered by gardeners
who measure without malice and weigh without hate.

Cross Beacon Hill Avenue with me to the Red Apple,
a house of plenty on this hilltop.
Take your sums from the Wells Fargo ATM,
go inside the store and give your eyes a feast,
and remember to purchase a book of stamps,
for letters to connect with Texas and Tennessee.
Let’s now continue past the branch library,
but we will not linger now, for there is time,
time for you and time for me,
time for the hope of the woman,
even though the principle has been hijacked
by the congressional corporations.
O Ezra Pound, where are you now?
Thou were the CEO of Modernist Poetry.
Why did you take up residence at Saint Elizabeth?
Oh well we won’t go see the Muse,
and even without a single glimpse of the Muse,
the walk must go on; we shall go on.
Inside his mind was the Muse.
And she moves on, as the river;
as the water, she moves on.
Stones will not impede her.
Shameless she provides,
in the estuary,
when birds rest from their flight.

That was another time.
He was on an island most of his days,
protected from unprivileged eyes.

She called for the sky,
there came the sky.
She wanted rain.
She became fertile again.

As I walk now past the bicycle shop
again on Beacon Hill Avenue,
I am of this place and of this time.
There is another coffee shop,
but I won’t mention it by name when
the streets parade by with their designations
Horton and Hinds, Spokane at the Fire Station.
This is the loneliness of a long-distance intellectual,
the prelude with the pen that can enslave
better than an interminable sentence.
De la sierra, morena
Cielito lindo vienen bajando
Un par de ojitos negros
Cielito lindo de contrabando
Ay, ay, ay, ay, canta y no llores
Porque cantando se alegran
Cielito lindo los corazones
We do not object.
We do not object to its price.

Jin tien wo men cher fan
Wo men do shih cher fan

“In the café the women come and go,
Talking of Michaelangelo.”

Featured Photo Alex Garland


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