Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998
Poems by Louis Phillips
THE CITY OF OLD AGE
How did I arrive at this station so quickly?
I am my own archeologist.
Teshuvah, a turning. Turning outward. Turning inward.
No one arrives in this city willingly.
I think: I did not marry everyone I loved.
The throat of twilight clears in the rain.
"Sleeping on the edge of a volcano."
When I asked for a round trip ticket, the Stationmaster
laughed in my face.
I search within myself for some state of Grace I cannot achieve. Not as long as I hold on to this body.
There is a saying, in Spanish or in Portuguese:
Take out live coals with the hands of the cat.
The ad opens with:"The rich have to travel
the same roads as everybody else."
I thought of East Hampton, mansions
Hidden behind hedges so high
No eye cd see & paved with drive-ways
Longer than many roads,
Private roads I was never allowed
To step upon, let alone travel on.
The Volvo "provides luxuries
People of wealth consider necessities."
There's no argument with that.
Our world is filled with still lives —
Portraits of vases & leaves unmoving.
We are the ones,
Edgy with entanglement,
Who come & go,
Curious ones looking on,
So that the day we breathe in
Is slightly more alive than it was.
Louis Phillips' work has appeared frequently in Offcourse. His most recent collection of poems HOW WIDE THE MEADOW (World Audience Books) is available from Amazon.