RACHEL LODEN
The Last Campaign
1998, 32 pages
"There's an edge to these poems, a sly, sardonic edge that lays bare the tricky changes of a world filled with campaign slogans and dissembling politicians."
—Allison Joseph

My Night with Philip Larkin

Rendezvous with dweeby Philip in the shower:
"Aubade" taped up on pale blue tile;
I can hear him grumbling through the falling water.
Uncurling steam is scented with a trace of bile,
And I'm as grateful as a thankless child can be.
Someone has been here in this night with me,
Someone whose bitterness, I want to say,
Is even more impressive than my own.
Talking with Larkin on the great white telephone
I let the night be washed out into day

Until it's safe enough to go lie down
And dream of my librarian, my bride.
Perhaps he sits and watches in his dressing gown;
I know he won't be coming to my side
For fumblings and words he simply can't get out.
That stuff was never what it was about
When he would wake at four o'clock to piss
And part the curtains, let the moon go on
With all the things worth doing, and not done,
The things that others do instead of this.

 

 


read review in February 2000 Salon Magazine
visit Rachel Loden's home page

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