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Lola Ridge

To The American People

Will you feast with me, American People?
But what have I that shall seem good to you!

On my board are bitter apples
And honey served on thorns,
And in my flagons fluid iron,
Hot from the crucibles.

How should such fare entice you!

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East River

Dour river
Jaded with monotony of lights
Diving off mast heads….
Lights mad with creating in a river… turning its sullen back…
Heave up, river…
Vomit back into the darkness your spawn of light….
The night will gut what you give her.

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Interim

The earth is motionless
And poised in space…
A great bird resting in its flight
Between the alleys of the stars.
It is the wind’s hour off….
The wind has nestled down among the corn….
The two speak privately together,
Awaiting the whirr of wings.

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Potpourri

Do you remember
Honey-melon moon
Dripping thick sweet light
Where Canal Street saunters off by herself among quiet trees?
And the faint decayed patchouli—
Fragrance of New Orleans
Like a dead tube rose
Upheld in the warm air…
Miraculously whole.

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Skyscrapers

Skyscrapers… remote, unpartisan…
Turning neither to the right nor left
Your imperturbable fronts….
Austerely greeting the sun
With one chilly finger of stone….
I know your secrets… better than all the policemen
like fat blue mullet along the avenues.

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Secrets

INTERIM

The earth is motionless
And poised in space…
A great bird resting in its flight
Between the alleys of the stars.
It is the wind's hour off….
The wind has nestled down among the corn….
The two speak privately together,
Awaiting the whirr of wings.

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Altitude

I wonder
how it would be here with you,
where the wind
that has shaken off its dust in low valleys
touches one cleanly,
as with a new-washed hand,
and pain
is as the remote hunger of droning things,
and anger
but a little silence
sinking into the great silence.

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Dreams

Men die…
Dreams only change their houses.
They cannot be lined up against a wall
And quietly buried under ground,
And no more heard of…
However deep the pit and heaped the clay -
Like seedlings of old time
Hooding a sacred rose under the ice cap of the world -
Dreams will to light.

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Wall Street at Night

Long vast shapes… cooled and flushed through with darkness….
Lidless windows
Glazed with a flashy luster
From some little pert cafe chirping up like a sparrow.
And down among iron guts
Piled silver
Throwing gray spatter of light… pale without heat…
Like the pallor of dead bodies.

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The Fog

Out of the lamp-bestarred and clouded dusk -
Snaring, illuding, concealing,
Magically conjuring -
Turning to fairy-coaches
Beetle-backed limousines
Scampering under the great Arch -
Making a decoy of blue overalls
And mystery of a scarlet shawl -
Indolently -
Knowing no impediment of its sure advance -
Descends the fog.

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