Monday, March 28

One more thing about North Dakota...

When I wrote my post earlier today I was reminded of two poems I read last year. I didn't post them right away because I couldn't find the book and was afraid I'd packed it away, but I just found it on my shelf (who knew?) so I thought I'd share.
They are both collected in A Book of Luminous Things: A Collection of International Poetry edited by Czeslaw Milosz. It's a really, really beautiful, dreamy, sleepy collection of poetry and really worth getting your hands on, especially considering how inexpensive it is.

After Midnight by Louis Simpson

The dark streets are deserted,
With only a drugstore glowing
Softly, like a sleeping body;

With one white, naked bulb
In the back, that shines
On suicides and abortions.

Who lives in these dark houses?
I am suddenly aware
I might live here myself.

The garage man returns
And puts the change in my hand,
Counting the singles carefully.

Late Lights In Minnesota by Ted Kooser

At the end of a freight train rolling away,
a hand swinging a lantern.
The only lights left behind in the town
are a bulb burning cold in the jail,
and high in one house,
a five-battery flashlight
pulling an old woman downstairs to the toilet
among the red eyes of her cats.

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