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Dream Song 92: Room 231: the fourth week

Something black somewhere in the vistas of his heart.

Tulips from Tates teazed Henry in the mood
To be a tulip and desire no more
But water, but light, but air.
Yet his nerves rattled blackly, unsubdued,
& suffocation called, dream-whiskey’d pour
Sirening. Rosy there

Too fly my Phil & Ellen roses, pal.
Flesh-coloured men & women come & punt
Under my windows. I rave
Or grunt against it, from a flowerless land.
For timeless hours wind most, or not at all. I wind
My clock before I shave.

Soon it will fall dark. Soon you’ll see stars
You fevered after, child, man, & did nothing, —
Compass live to the pencil-torch!
As still as his cadaver, Henry mars
This surface of an earth or other, feet south
Eyes bleared west, waking to march.


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Poem Dream Song 92: Room 231: the fourth week - John Berryman