Mazeppa

It’s late, yet the pleasures of the hot gourd
May bring another night without much sleep,
A thing right now not easy to afford,
But the gourd is hot and the inkwell deep:
The tea-pipe is a necessary vice
To pay the mistress poetry her price.

A new gourd, a slice of bread, and I insist:
There’s more Yeats to read, more Eliot to steal.
While I ignore the tremors that persist
As just the cobblestone passing of wheels.
Let us see if I can will my eyes to view
A third sunrise — and another verse construe.

Liszt gallops across my mind like a horse
And from the balcony I want to shout
At all the stars too busy in their course
To pass the night upon the futon couch,
And into the city I want to yell
For any poet to pass a spell.

In Toronto we would sing the night
Like a band of sober libertines
Seeking glories in making souls ignite
To animate the primitive machine;
But this, where I sit, is Santiago;
And here, few troubadours or monks I know.

I am not certain poetry exists
But I start a new verse, soon a new work.
Against the wide sea the pen resists
Before it slips into the ancient murk,
Where regardless all in the end is poured,
All our works — and this same verse. So fill the gourd.

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