“Anthony Alexander, American poet and essayist (1925-1987). Like his friend and contemporary James Baldwin, Alexander spent many years in Paris, where his work was published in influential literary and political journals. His books include Not This One, Ricorso, and Homage to Juliette Greco, which included the poem below.” Pencil sketch.
It’s not divination
It’s not a weary traveller
opening up the Gideon
and finding magic salve
where the eyes first fall.
(Last time I tried this,
the universe answered with
the slaughter of the Amalekites,
man, woman, child and kine.)
No; it’s the vision of the lion
It’s the shadow waving goodbye.
It’s the fusion of many suns.
It’s the damage of imprecise images,
and what could be made of them.
It’s the chanteuse deplaning in the night,
to the leers of the malcontented.
It’s the burning ships under
centuries of stars,
breathing the air of reprise.
It’s the abatement of laws,
the nocturnal tirades,
like Petrograd in fevered flow.
It’s dancing on the water,
borne up by the reflections.