By the Third Glass
If I could resurrect one writer to be with this afternoon
with this bottle of wine,
it wouldn't be Lowry,
he would drink the bottle in a flash and disappear,
or Lawrence who would lecture me,
or Kerouac, a silly man.
Perhaps da Cunha, a solid engineer
or Martin du Gard, who has a capacity for friendship
or better, someone who is now obscure,
but not Pessoa, he's too shy
and there's too many of him.
Forget it. Call my dog. She is lying in the warmth
left in the grass, the creature who understands me best.
No Germans need apply
or Swiss or Scandinavians,
Russians are too emotional,
Li Po talks too much,
Plath is obsessing about Hughes
and Hughes is obsessing about some other woman.
Mudd is not dead yet.
None of the drunks - there are so many -
none of the academics for obvious reasons.
Stendhal is a possibility,
we could talk Napoleon, Milan and opera buffa,
or Marquez, but he just died and may still smell.
Lorca, Proust, I doubt they would find me attractive.
You know where this is going.
A sad and solitary man
who loved a teenage girl who died.
He taught, wrote a few poems,
fled Franco to France and died there
of a broken life.
I imagine a medium priced white from Soria
and we talk but by the third glass,
he cuts the thread between us
and disappears into a private solitude,
as I do, unable to share our sorrows
which delight us.
POET'S NOTES ABOUT THE POEM
A sad and solitary man. Antonio Machado, Spanish poet born in Sevilla in 1875, who, despite my poem, wasn't much of a drinker.