Gramercy Park Evening
by Ann Lauterbach
I am, in these instances, aware
there is much to be desired, much left to desire,
and the rest abided. The late hour has everything
turned down; even the constant fleet of wheels
is another noise: less. I was trying to sleep
and to imagine us near the sea, the light
skinny and unhedged, the sea
a ribbed plate, a wide blue absolute
into which pink is introduced like an idea in music.
Desire is an aspect of ethics; belief is not.
You can move a peach across the table
without changing its color but the light, this light,
casts a shadow of doubt. What we perceive
is part dream, part deceit; what we want
touches knowledge. The park is something you
could not know about: late afternoon, a walk,
the walk I sometimes took towards a cadence
of real images: the gate, the grass, the lock.
There was a sense that things were lit
from within, of high, shut carriages and women in hats.
fr. Many Times, But Then (1979)
in If in Time: Selected Poems: 1975-2000
[New York: Penguin Poets, 2001]
I was going to email this to Kathleen, but I thought to myself, hey, we have a blog for that now.
I love the line “Desire is an aspect of ethics; belief is not,”although I’m not always sure I know what that means.