The New Realism

From The Tennis Court Oath (1962)

        I have lost the beautiful dreams
	That enlisted on waking,
	Cold and waiting.  That world is a war now
	The portable laugh eclipsing another place
	The warrior’s bonnet holds sand.
	The blond headdress is soggy
	The ray carried your picture away
	If space could imagine a pilot
	The clouds were rags, wheat the sun
	A small dancer decorated the coverlet with gore
	A perforated fountain assumed
	That the center cravat was the right one
	The one with peach halves and violets
	And buzzing soda water
	Out of the serene
	Blackening with space, its blankness
	Cast waterward, the grim engine
	Chugging, denial at first
	You see you cannot do this to me
	Why, we were differing
	They eyes and clitoris a million miles from
	The small persistent tug.
	The tree streamed with droppings
	Mountain air the subject of our three conversations
	The child skipped happily over
	The western pages—even better than it is
	Stones of day
	Police formed a boundary to the works
	Where we played
	A torn page with a passionate oasis
	Shall we ask them to
	The kitty, the outgrown stone keeps up
	The grass and solid ovaries
	A pineapple near
	And the lumber over the rear plant
	You especially not because you’ve known
	That tree of noon—pretext of your roots
	Are among several dopes
	On the loony stock exchange
	Near your dumb bank.
	You often asked me after hours
	The glass pinnacle, its upkeep and collapse
	Knowing that if we were in a barn
	Straw panels would . . . Confound it
	The arboretum is bursting with jasmine and lilac
	And all I can smell here is newsprint
	The tea went down
	All went down easily
	He keeps coming back, the curse
	Of pliant dawns
	Braiding afternoons—a whistle be the result
	On some nights in their climate president
	His term packed with ice
	The sideboard burst under millions of candles
	And hope . . . a gray Niagara. 
        Under the crushed water on the rock
	Dove affects man . . . in his burden
	Compounded of cannibalism and hush
	Mice roar and an Ethiop
	Sprinkles lead beads over the clay babe
	Once the oxygen is removed the
	Arms can move freely again.
	The soldiers sigh comfortably
	In their garrison, you do not trust me any more.
	A rainy day brought us the truth
	The suffragette had proclaimed
	And the wax had shuffled
	Only beauty offered sin
	Out of the round and the oval
	Something to match the edges of dawn
	The house where it took place
	Pardon on the face of the tall wall
	That land burned season on it scum
	The fence removed and all the title gone.
	Again, going up in a balloon
	Reading from the pages of the telephone directory
	The scooter and the Ethiop had gotten away
	The building was to be torn down
	A pleasant wink . . . you said the sun was setting
	And there were only more rollers,
	More Nile . . . In these moments I often think of the man
	Who . . . payments acceded to the night
	Of his claim a perfect universe
	Onyx, imperturbable, moderate . . . you see the session was letting out
	One came up to me
	They veil the sky
	Cast down in new purity, the cargo
	A sky, the lever anyway
	The planation crew of three
	Were never awarded.    Mixed
	With undistinguishable day, and night, the new moon
	Turning with ash under the way
	Crowds into the night stopped at fall
	Lights stream undeniably away
	The purgation is cheap.  Blocked by a heavy truck
	Shift your ballast, radiant
	In gingham
	The sheriff
	Culled, all superior, and the grain
	Disappeared forever, the haven
	Which the ranch
	Torn flower topping curious day.
	A mast of all not emilinated
	Fixing the way you smile
	The sunbeams carried to me
	The trail . . . stopped only where you overstepped
	And libation.  The answer had ended,
	Clouds mounted swiftly, the furniture
	Ages away by the torn page of the book
	Forgotten in the sun
	The pink moth close to its border
	A millionth change
	If we must go on
	And the oasis in flames
	The desert muted, the Nubians plunged in dreams
	Scared by owls.  You have to extract the forfeit
	We change this concave block, the difference between us three
	The peak guards mist his door
	A table for three
	The light goes out—it exudes
	You idea—perched on some utterly crass sign
	Not the hardest either, but adoption is no way
	There was calm rapture in the way she spoke
	Perhaps I would get over the way the joke
	Always turned against me, in the end.
	The bars had been removed from all the windows
	There was something quiet in the way the light entered
	Her trousseau.  Wine fished out of the sea—they hadn’t known
	We were coming relaxed forever
	We stood off the land because if you get too far
	From a perfume you can squeeze the life out of it
	One seal came into view and then the others
	Yellow in the vast sun.
	A watchdog performed and they triumphed
	The day was bleak—ice had replaced air
	The sigh of the children to former music
	Supplanting the mutt’s yelps.
	This was as far as she would go—
	A tavern with plants.
	Dynamite out over the horizon
	And a sequel, and a racket.  Dolphins repelling
	The sand.  Swarms of bulldozers
	Wrecked the site, and she died laughing
	Because only once does prosperity let you get away
	On your doorstep she used to explain
	How if the returning merchants in the morning hitched the rim of the van
	In the evening one must be very quick to give them the slip.
	The judge knocked.  The zinnias
	Had never looked better—red, yellow, and blue
	They were, and forget-me-nots and dahlias
	At least sixty varieties
	As the shade went up
	And the ambulance came crashing through the dust
	Of the new day, the moon and the sun and the stars,
	And the iceberg slowly sank
	In the volcano and the sea ran far away
	Yellow over the hot sand, green as the green trees.