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ISSUE:  Autumn 1948

My weekday undernsong is shared by those
Within the vaulted subway who are close
And ghostly creatures. Occasionally the face
Of votive pallor, timid and intent,
Lifts through the heads and hats of commonplace
And with the shy mouth smiles acknowledgment.
Together we intone our silent psalm Before the train bursts at us like a bomb.

The hour of nine is one of fierce revolts.
The dangerous executives, the colts
Sniffing wind’s panic, stampede on the stair
In libertine ferment. Stenographers
Read love’s placarded lure and feel the flare
Of fury leap. Inconsequence concurs
With disobedience, and fear that twists
On pity spurs the insurrectionists.

I travel these urbane Gethsemanes
Whispering sanatory services
Each morning. Our defiled intrados rings
With shrieks of steely rage. My friends and I,
My mendicants, beg in low murmurings
The recognition these shrieks prophesy
Where third hour hurry to the day of fear
Reclaims our coy compulsions to revere.


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