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ISSUE:  Spring 1934

Or else a room, and in the room five voices speaking at once and what delicious babble “sherbet” and “velvet” and “purple” and “fragrant” and “loud”—
the window gives on winter, the cold light
high up and cold, and in the pipes a knocking
that brings the firelight upward from earth’s furnace—
and there are pictures too and rows of books
pictures of lakes and boats harpoons and faces
cold leaves bright flowers a beach an eye that watches
one eye that watches and in the books are notes—
compare page so and so, idem and ibid,
names names and other names, and here a rhyme
such as reclaims a bell resumes a time—
words words and other words, like leaves, like leaves
some with a,special, and some with little, meaning
some that are sounds some that are deep as wounds
some that are hands, some that are wings, or claws—
and over all, assuming all, five voices
speaking at once in what a sweet confusion—
Why put the window there what says the window
is there a nothing there or is it something
is someone looking in was it a cloud
is someone looking in was it a star
is someone looking in was it a god
had it a face and did you see its eyes
did it go past and will it come again?
was it the thunder stooping? Call it back—
listen—look—smell it—taste it—touch—
nothing, no; the voices speak again
murmur or shout or whisper or are sad—
“sherbet” “velvet” “purple” “fragrant” “shrill”;
and then at last, when the dark comes, are still.


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