for Aaron Belz
Come closer, Mr. Belz; your sentence
is commuted. Faulkner believed God
was dead, our pursuit of him no
more than "a steeplechase toward nothing,"
a credo hard to follow if you've seen
the Arch all yellowed & pinked, snow
falling carelessly on lonely,
dirty St. Louis (a Coke, not Pepsi, town),
no drugs in sight, the haze not hash
smoke but December fog & half a dozen beers.
Hard to believe that God doesn't want
us to listen to Surfer Rosa, or to bounce,
screaming, however briefly, into Eisenhower
America. Aaron, you prefer Budweiser
to microbrew & Frost to Stevens but I say
it hasn't a thing to do with your children—
it's drizzly in Missouri, the Mississippi
is risen & you are beautiful man bloodshot
& high as one can get short of paying
eight bucks to ride to the top.
Author Discusses Poems