Why this?

The occasional poem of my own and a generous helping of work by others that I find inspiring. Site is named for a beloved book by one of my favorite writers, Italo Calvino, whose fanciful work lights--and delights--my soul.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Gas

--after Edward Hopper

The lonely man
    performs some necessary ritual
      behind a pump. We cannot tell
exactly what it is he does because
    the angle is so odd. A rack of cans

of oil between
    two pumps on the island stands, as they al-
      ways do, conveniently avail-
able, in easy reach of any needy
    motorist. The light is low, and the trees,

massed heavily
    behind the man and his pumps, march darkly
      off to the right. A modest shock
of roadside weeds attends the greenery
    as it condenses. On the periphery,

out of our ken,
    shines a source of artificial light. We
      are meant to feel the clutch of the
evening. It is not benevolent. 
    The artist has invested his talent

in loneliness.
    The values and the crusty inflections
      of his particular diction
demonstrate devotion to the modest
    fears of the soul in the longest moments

of late after-
    noon. A sign hangs white above the station.
      Mobilgas and Pegasus. A 
flag of sorts, a standard, here, to more
    than gas. The language, though hard, is clear.

--Sidney Wade

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