Paul Blackburn


Visitation I


                                  Magic of morning

walking thru the autumn of west 24th St. slowly

                                 late to work

a schoolboy slowness along the sunburst sidewalk

Cold air, sun on the walls


:                                  sees

on the walk the broken bits

of color glistening in sun like frozen

smashed Christmastree decorations or bits of glass

imbedded in cement, that are only paper somehow, only

                                  paper . No


                                  sooner is that reality complete

ly absorbed, than another real thing rears its

multilimned head in the semblance of barrels, barrels

                                  rolled past

dollies loaded with reams of printed sheets for the binder, . ,

a reminder of work, the mist full of sun, the

barrels with bindings of bent under steam split willow instead of


                                  tape binding, holding

                                  china from England, to

                                  feel filling the eye:

                        docks, warehouses, ship's hold, long-

                                  shoremen, the wood

                                  shavings and

the hands that wrought these, touched and shoved these barrels

                                  not .

those that bought their transit, raked the profit in,

                                  but a cooper's dream of death

                                                             these broken staves

singing themselves in the last triumphant crackling song

of fire

the barrels being burnt

unUSE again, U N U S E . The


park is still green but leaves have fallen already, some

raked in piles and miles of countryside stretch out

                                                                    filling the eye :

heaped leaves burning at roadside, the air blue

                                  acrid . Nostrils

sting with the smoke of years we no longer remember

                                  except with the rare

                          attack of the senses . Still,

the tender drooping spray from the fountain

center of park, has old dixie cups, tops from

icecream cartons, burnt matches and other rubbish to be

                                                                    its birds .

                                                                    and its fish

Move along

move along

don't care

cold air, the sun, the sun                I

wish I were far from here .