Geoffrey Brock


And Day Brought Back My Night

It was so simple: you came back to me
And I was happy. Nothing seemed to matter
But that. That you had gone away from me
And lived for days with him — it didn’ t matter.
That I had been left to care for our old dog
And house alone — couldn’ t have mattered less!
On all this, you and I and our happy dog
Agreed. We slept. The world was worriless.

Coda of the Fixed Itinerant

Always the evening noises, the footsteps on the stairs, the day that rises in the throat.
A turn of the key will expel the world.
Against the extinct forest of furniture, the channeled bloodstream translates the dream into this small life.

In the end we shrink until finally we can no longer inhabit the gestures of our childhood.

A nail in a board: the remains of a fence; blurred memory of the mountain that raised the tree, that brooded over its ore.

Prof of Profs

I was a math major — fond of all things rational.
It was the first day of my first poetry class.
The prof, with the air of a priest at Latin mass,
told us that we could “make great poetry personal,”

could own it, since poetry we memorize sings
inside us always. By way of illustration
he began reciting Shelley with real passion,
but stopped at “Ozymandias, King of Kings;

Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!” —
because, with that last plosive, his top denture
popped from his mouth and bounced off an empty chair.