Jay Mandeville Poems
On Looking Into Keats's Letters
This for certain, Keats has a temper;
he knows how to take it and dish it out.
Mark well when he warns us,
Keats will decode our doubts.
Or misbehave at the party buffet freely,
cause fastidious guests to
veer away queasily.
He might even ill-use our most precious sofa,
as he separates us from our loneliest offer.
And foodfighting to submission our implacable blase,
he'll drink our cool, cellar-hid claret,
hatch sonnets in our lingerie.
He'll hang hostiles in the garret,
drip honey over all our storage density.
Then speaking of beauty...
Come South Time
the mountain enters the house
through a maize ear.
the river brings back planters' soil.
blue night shimmers with heat
and minerals, and looks you in the eye.
oleanders reach dread heights each step.
red flags are unjustly disposed in the garden.
snapdragons ride whispers,
and lamps adjust ancestral portraits.