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.


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