I apologize for being so out of things and unresponsive lately. I am so deeply drenched in the depths of the unpoetic and pathetic linguistic that the pressure is poised to prompt me to implode. But I’m hoping to take a break from it all for a couple hours to do our thing thursday night. Our place would be fine but lets keep it simple and do Jon’s unless he (or others) would prefer to come out to the palisades. And the poems Jon mentioned sound good to me. Oh and I heard this poem read recently and liked it. Its also contemporary and female (Elizabeth Bishop). ESSO was Exxon before it was Exxon.

Filling Station

Oh, but it is dirty!
—this little filling station,
oil-soaked, oil-permeated
to a disturbing, over-all
black translucency.
Be careful with that match!

Father wears a dirty,
oil-soaked monkey suit
that cuts him under the arms,
and several quick and saucy
and greasy sons assist him
(it’s a family filling station),
all quite thoroughly dirty.

Do they live in the station?
It has a cement porch
behind the pumps, and on it
a set of crushed and grease-
impregnated wickerwork;
on the wicker sofa
a dirty dog, quite comfy.

Some comic books provide
the only note of color—
of certain color. They lie
upon a big dim doily
draping a taboret
(part of the set), beside
a big hirsute begonia.

Why the extraneous plant?
Why the taboret?
Why, oh why, the doily?
(Embroidered in daisy stitch
with marguerites, I think,
and heavy with gray crochet.)

Somebody embroidered the doily.
Somebody waters the plant,
or oils it, maybe. Somebody
arranges the rows of cans
so that they softly say:
ESSO–SO–SO–SO

to high-strung automobiles.
Somebody loves us all.