Letter to Ezra Pound
Peter Gibbon

(for T.S. Eliot)

i. Shanti, Ezra.

Rat’s Alley beckons;
leaves rot in old eaves troughs;
Decadence laughs and coughs,
Madness barks.
Leaves bend in windy weather.

ii. prophet to prophet

Ezra, I write to you out of concern
For a mutual friend;
Prophet to prophet
It seems these words have
Offended some;
Dumb scholars, Ezra.
Stupid academics.

iii. love song

the camel’s back’s been broken, Ezra,
a bloodied hump.
they gave me a hammer
and some vague allusions
they gave me some nails
indifference in spirit,
no conscience
no compassion
no love.

iv. these precious leaves

Late abortions, Ezra—
watch the tide.
Your children are being forgotten, Ezra,
Souster’s flower withers
Dudek is dead,
lovers turn aside in bed,
shaking hands
unawares, as nightmares
brighten the sky;
tut, tut, tut,
          looks like rain.

v. Salut, Saleh

The curtain is dropping
the act is closing
they’re asking us to hurry up;
they will drown us with this expectation,
they will drown us in our hesitation.
The tide is heavy
watch the current, Ezra—
these flowers you planted
are dying.

vi. epitaph

This weather is hateful
resigned, I am grateful for
any time she can give me
—this applause
and some pause, please—
to mourn the dead.
The night is come
the dogs are fed.

shantih, Ezra.
          Salut, Saleh.
Sera sera, sera sera.