English poetry

Poems in English

To The Dead

To The Dead

What I hope (when I hope) is that we’ll
See each other again,

. . . and again reach the VEIN

In which we loved each other. .
It existed. It existed.

There is a NIGHT within the NIGHT,

. . . for, like the detectives (the Ritz Brothers)
In The Gorilla,

Once we’d been battered by the gorilla

We searched the walls, the intricately carved
Impenetrable paneling

For a button, lever, latch

That unlocks a secret door that
Reveals at last the secret chambers,

CORRIDORS within WALLS,

(the disenthralling, necessary, dreamed structure
Beneath the structure we see,)

That is the HOUSE within the HOUSE. . .

There is a NIGHT within the NIGHT,

. . . there were (for example) months when I seemed only
To displease, frustrate,

Disappoint you ; then, something triggered

A drunk lasting for days, and as you
Slowly and shakily sobered up,

Sick, throbbing with remorse and self-loathing,

Insight like ashes: clung
To; useless; hated. . .

This was the viewing of the power of the waters

While the waters were asleep:
Secrets, histories of loves, betrayals, double-binds

Not fit (you thought) for the light of day. . .

There is a NIGHT within the NIGHT,

. . . for, there at times at night, still we
Inhabit the secret place together. . .

Is this wisdom, or self-pity?

The love I’ve known is the love of
Two people staring

Not at each other, but in the same direction.



Poem To The Dead - Frank Bidart