THE GOOSE

book

More delightful than any part of nature
Is the sight of these in the train,
More delightful than Denver’s sunshine,
More delightful than Rimbaud’s rain,
Staring out the window, contemplative and mute,
Beauty waiting dumbly inside a business suit.

You get the beautiful lip,
You get the beautiful hair,
It is moral, it is beautiful,
There’s nothing to do but stare,
And forget article and headline,
And creeps, or yours, or mine.

Geese are shitting on the soccer fields
As the train goes smoothly by.
You will always be a nuisance, Nature,
Esteemed as the geese that fly,
But Nature, in the end,
Is what Larkin’s mum and dad portend.

For a moment she and I look,
And I felt married to her
It was but a moment,
And now it’s a fleeting blur—
Just how Pater would want it:
Too momentary to flaunt it.

I hate the flaunting of poetry,
So don’t expect poetry from me.
Oh very good, Heaney, the flight of geese is a V.
But now that I’ve looked out the window,
Distracted by geese and forts,
I return inside—which is best—
To the sad lady commuter,
Trapped with all the rest.

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12 Comments

  1. marcusbales said,

    October 3, 2011 at 11:42 am

    The Buried Poem

    Staring out the window,
    contemplative and mute,
    Beauty waiting beautifully
    in a business suit.

    You get the beautiful lip,
    you get the beautiful hair,
    It is moral, it is beautiful,
    there’s nothing to do but stare,

    She and I look out the window,
    and I felt married to her
    Only for a moment,
    and now it’s a fleeting blur.

    • thomasbrady said,

      October 3, 2011 at 8:04 pm

      Train-bound and mute,
      In her business suit,
      Stranger by the window!
      Look! A scene will slow.
      I look; she looks, too,
      Married by a view.

      • marcusbales said,

        October 3, 2011 at 10:00 pm

        I.

        She stared through the glass to deter
        Him talking, so he stared at her
        And wished he could share
        Much more than a stare
        While the scenery went by in a blur.

        II.

        Through the train window
        fat geese ignore them. He thinks
        “Shared scene, shared life.” No.

  2. bug said,

    October 3, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Very clever and very nice, both of you. Period at the end the second strophe methinks, marcusbales, & other punctuation stuff. (Sorry I thought I was back in poetry workshop there for a second forgive me.)

    Do you really hate the flaunting of poetry, Thomas Brady? Seems less boast than wish. Not that I don’t sympathize…

    In the end I think marcusbales note should be taken… no offense intended. I think I hear Gunn and Larkin in there on a good day

    Hope you all are well and I apologize for what may have been a kind of nasty note the other day. It’s my rheumatism, you see…

  3. bug said,

    October 3, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    oh and i like your further revision too thomas, but i think too much of a good thing. maybe you were being flip…

  4. bug said,

    October 3, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    i continue to believe that pastoral imagery is dangerous (to the poet who uses it) and should only be used with extreme self-consciousness… just a further thought…

  5. thomasbrady said,

    October 3, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Bug,

    “As things are, and as fundamentally they must always be, poetry is not a career, but a mug’s game. No honest poet can ever feel quite sure of the permanent value of what he has written: He may have wasted his time and messed up his life for nothing.” -T.S. Eliot

    It’s always disconcerting when you see how poetry can be reduced to fewer and fewer words, until it practically disappears, and you wonder, “What the hell was I saying, anyway?”

    No, I’m not being flip—I’m in despair.

    As for “pastoral…is dangerous,” I thought my poem (original) was anti-pastoral. Inside the train is where it’s at.

    Tom

  6. marcusbales said,

    October 3, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Variations on a Theme by Thomas Graves

    I.

    Staring out the train’s window,
    Contemplative and mute,
    She sat across from me, a beauty
    Inside a business suit.

    The outside swayed with the swaying train
    That moved her beautiful hair;
    Through Eliot’s fog and Rimbaud’s rain
    There’s nothing to do but stare.

    She stared straight out the window while I
    Looked more and more at her.
    The moment married us. Good-bye.
    And now her face is a blur.

    II.

    She stared through the glass to deter
    Him talking, so he stared at her
    And wished he could share
    Much more than a stare
    While the scenery went by in a blur.

    III.
    Through the train window
    fat geese ignore them. He thinks
    “Shared scene, shared life.” No.

  7. thomasbrady said,

    October 5, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    I think of her.
    Life’s a blur.

  8. noochinator said,

    June 7, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Katy Waldman on sitting next to women on the train:

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/09/16/on_planes_and_trains_everyone_prefers_to_sit_next_to_women.html

    • thomasbrady said,

      June 8, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      I always sit next to women on the train. They keep to themselves. With a guy there’s a chance they won’t give up their space and his leg will be pressing against mine.

  9. thomasbrady said,

    June 7, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    I like this poem. Forgot I wrote it. Have no idea what the woman in the business suit on the train that day looks like. But it’s a moment invoked by a poem I want to stay with forever. It is why Scarriet exists.


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