An Early Draft

Things you can see, touch, grab hold of:
That's what a poem needs as we need air to breathe---
Litter-filled puddles near an urban curb,
Stopsigns defaced by political stickers,
Rusted hubcaps, broken bottles,
The auto-mechanic's yard with the corpse of a Monte Carlo,
Apples in a fruit-bowl on your great-aunt's kitchen table,
Red wheelbarrows, coffee-mugs, sparrows gathered
Around a park bench to catch the crumbs of somebody's lunch,
The stars and stripes flapping wildly in a stiff north wind,
Sad-faced sober drunks gathering for the noon meeting,
Yesterday's newspaper left behind on the train,
The thirtyish waitress at The Old Stopped Clock
And her tired, blistered feet.

Walt Whitman! T. S. Eliot!
Kenneth Koch! William Carlos Williams!
And yes, old potty-mouth Allen Ginsberg!
Give me your feel for the down-to-earth,
Your eye for the immortal ramshackle,
The lasting grandeur of what perishes.
Give me your love for the everyday, the common,
Your knowledge of what works.
Let me eavesdrop
On your deep conversations with the Real.

Poetry by Thomas DeFreitas The PoetBay support member heart!
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Written on 2018-06-05 at 13:46

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Interesting details: the first stanza is teeming with the tangible; the second with intangible. Is this a list poem? The form that was so American that both Whitman and Ginsberg employed it in their works?