Postcards from Massachusetts

January 21, 2016

1
dun home counties sky

2
aloft, between Porcupine Bank
and the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone

3
under Orion (O’Ryan)
50 miles from Gloucester

traceries in Lincoln’s night air
pine needles on the skylight

4
an orientation speaker with irritating voice
traverses Harvard Square as I arrange poems
on the steps of the church

5
air-conditioning blasts the curtains,
an orange crane swings south,

Bunker Hill viewed at an angle,
the Charles River over there

I keep thinking, "Dirty Water"

6
turn up the heat and order in

7
Concord is "conquered"
rail trucks overgrown in a siding

Amherst, Ms. Dickinson’s house,
her grave, back of seventies shops

8
reading at the café-bar in Wendell
I find myself "leaning on the john door"

9
I feel like the English character in an American movie:
"I’ve really had a jolly good time thank you"

10
tailback at Concord roundabout

no rest from this condensery

11
everywhere’s a building site
this whole part of Boston is money

the Coast Guard slips out
by the Institute of Contemporary Art

12
PARADISE SELF-STORAGE
near Swampscott, where Eigner
looked out on the street from a glazed porch

then Salem in angled sunlight,
at Gloucester, The Cut,
tire rumble on Blynman Bridge

this republic (and its Republicans)
viewed in gloom
from Half-Moon Beach

13
bagel parlor talk:
"Why did they axe you?"

14
Halloween’s een
a dark blue sky behind apartments
thinned out yellow leaves foreground

and then Paul Kelly in the foyer:
"Have you ever seen Sydney from a 727 at night?"

15
Logan: the Durgin Park Bar
"Established before you were born"

candidate Scott Brown’s fake tears, and
"Now the Panthers have their first
giveaway for the night"

16
the torn edges of both continental shelves,
suddenly a horizon,

somewhere down there, a disused shed
in Co. Wexford

17
on Southeast Rail
the voice of England: "All our toilets
are in working order this morning"

                                                               October 2014