*01.30.02 the white horse tavern

Hoping for a wink from one of those
Poet conspirators, drunks to a man, I'm here again.
Why is it so dark? What are we doing?
Looking for the wink.
The gin gives us the difference: each other
Shut off from the quotidian: our feelings
Blurring as the afternoon continues.

The silent man at my right elbow
Winks at me with his glass -
Is this a signal? He and I
Have long been quiet in the boredom, strangers,
But we watched for a certain moment - maybe this one -
For a flash, an insight, an exceptional view -

Evasion. The oldsters showed it too, the habit
And habitual disappointment
As they all wrote poems, novels, stories, waited here.

(diane wood middlebrook, 1983)

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