Sunday, June 17, 2007
From the Shaker entry table by the door,
the sabertooth skull in the glass case
keeps a dusty vigil, as if to ensure
that nothing shifts from its usual place.
Between the windows a bronze Laocoon
in static frenzy prays as Apollo’s snakes
leap from the sea to bear away his sons;
no answer from above, an angel out of Blake.
Spread on the modest Steinway, frayed but sound,
Ellington’s Fantasy in Black and Tan,
a penciled manuscript called Messing Around,
then Porter, Joplin, Beethoven, Bach, Chopin.
Two black leather swivel chairs
are kept from the gray sofa by a slab of burl,
on which, as though only pausing there,
a porcelain barn owl with eyes of pearl
surveys the leather memory of Proust.
In stillness only sculpture could maintain
it clings unblinking to its driftwood roost,
omits the blank, pronomial refrain.