There is something new that comes
Repeating itself — reminding of the old
It’s the same, only it’s different
It’s not then; it’s now.
It hinders and it pushes
Aggravating to stillness and to motion
To vigor and serenity.
It’s spring again,
But it’s always spring again
She walks by wearing grapes in a forest of gay color
I feel like Tantalus
Trying to touch the cluster
That covers each delicate breast
She moves to put a book
Back on its shelf.
And I see other
More forbidden fruit.
The forest is short.
I’ve never seen her before.
I sit trying to read Rostovtzeff
Whom I’m sure would understand–
Appreciating the historical process.
I imagine leaving my chair.
She’s left the room.
I agonize over agrarian reform.
It’s history; this history
Damned thing is always the same.
Spring in Atlanta
I remember no one
I remember driving
Up and down the hills
Seeing the purple blooms
And breathing the air.
Or Spring in Philadelphia
As I lay on the grass in the Arboretum
Reading of sensuous Atlanta
Of Baldwin’s imagining
A white man cutting his progenitor’s genitals.
Over the Black soil.
Cutting would bring a relief
So different from biting those grapes
And leaving again
The juice and the sap.
I hold my genitals in my hand
wondering wheter these delicacies
Are worth the necessary price
“Grapes right now are 95 cents a pound.
“Cherries are more expensive
“And besides, they are out of season.”
I’ve changed my mind.
I’m sorry. I don’t know what came over me.
It’s flowers I want.
My mind turns. Another skirt rides up.
First published 1970 in Prologue Poetry, Volume IV Number 3 by Editors Louis Phillips and Joshua Freedman at 515 East 78th Street NYC. Shortly afterward Gilbert Claude Jardine asked me to read the poem on WNYC-FM.
Joel Solkoff, US Editor, e-architect, USA
Please feel free to phone me at US 570-772-4909 or send an e-mail [email protected] Copyright © 2021 by Joel Solkoff. All rights reserved.