English poetry

Poems in English

January 2

January 2

The old war is over the new one has begun
Between drivers and pedestrians on a Friday
In New York light is the variable and structure
The content according to Rodrigo Moynihan’s
Self-portraits at the Robert Miller Gallery where
The painter is serially pictured holding a canvas,
Painting his mirror image, shirtless in summer,
With a nude, etc., it’s two o’clock and I’m walking
At top speed from the huddled tourists yearning to be
A mass to Les Halles on Park and 28th for a Salade
Niçoise I’ve just watched The Singing Detective all
Six hours of it and can’t get it out of my mind,
The scarecrow that turns into Hitler, the sad-eyed
Father wearing a black arm-band, the yellow umbrellas
As Bing Crosby’s voice comes out of Michael Gambon’s
Mouth, “you’ve got to ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive,
E-lim-inate the negative” advice as sound today
As in 1945 though it also remains true that
The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on



Poem January 2 - David Lehman