J.T. Barbarese

DIEU! QU’IL LA FAIT & ON THE RIVERLINE
July 18, 2019 Barbarese J.T.

DIEU! QU’IL LA FAIT

 

Would it be cheating
given all I
entered the world with

 

to pull from the sleet
of forgettable recollections
the fleeting epochal one

 

when I just happened to be there
when wind blew her notes off the library table
and into the wide world they went

 

sailing toward the sour-smelling
grass, mid-sward, where I had been
reading around all afternoon

 

and sobering up over
awful cups of 7-Eleven coffee
and she appeared

 

bent over my shoulder
clear as sunlight on wet rock
looking down

 

into the stopped
clock
of my cup?

 

 

 

ON THE RIVERLINE

 

This featureless seamless-seeming sky
so unforgivingly beautiful,  pumiced and claw-marked,
will not shut up. Where’s the give
in the Unforgiving, its e-zones, rips and pivots?
It’s looking right at me—the passenger opposite,
Latino, older guy, wearing
a Triple Five Soul Brooklyn hoodie, comes busting
into my meditation. We’re hooked, caught
the way the loop of the braided 5
hooks the S (first letter of soul)
through the bowl. He beckons me
and points to a dead tree outside Bordentown
and says Bald eagle, ‘ja see him? He
nests there, it’s his crib, been there eight years!
then gets off at the next stop. Vaya con Dios,
extraño. You have taught me what a life is—
a limited partnership, a romancing
of accidents, an unimpaired vision
of the living and dead—an American bald eagle
eight years in the same dead tree glimpsed between stops.

J.T. Barbarese’s next book of poems, True Does Nothing, is forthcoming this spring along with After Prévert, a translation of selected poems from Jacques Prévert’s Paroles.