William Logan

Night World | The Gentle Soul
November 28, 2016 Logan William

Night World


The barbed-wire vines
knot the azaleas
in the DMZ

of the border yard.
Everywhere I find
the sign of signs:

the abandoned wreck
of a cardinal’s nest,

or under water;
the snout divots
of armadillos,

shy, unregistered aliens.
The world’s another
world at night,

where the dream-scatter
of day lunks about,
preparing, preparing

for nothing at all.




The Gentle Soul

A gentle air impelling her keel, so that in the surrounding serenity her three tall tapering masts mildly waved to that languid breeze, as three mild palms on a plain.                                        Moby-Dick, chapter 59


He used his jeans as an ashtray,
spun philosophies on airy nothings,

slept with a prostitute and a thirteen-year-old.
It was the sixties, we liked to say,

long after it was the sixties.
What moved flesh and what spirit,

already languishing in the purity of decay?
The Oakland tidal flats

are now overlooked by ghosts of dot-com
companies that did not survive the crash.

The eighties. The nineties.
The decades fell like promises made to be broken.

William Logan’s writes poetry and a little criticism. He has published eleven books of poetry and eight books of essays and reviews. Logan has received, among other honors, the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism, the Aiken Taylor Award in Modern American Poetry, the Staige D. Blackford Prize for Nonfiction, the inaugural Randall Jarrell Award in Poetry Criticism, the Corrington Medal for Literary Excellence, the Peter I. B. Lavan Younger Poets Award, and the Allen Tate Prize.  He lives with the poet and artist Debora Greger in Gainesville, Florida, and Cambridge, England.