Wallace Stevens

Outside of Wedlock

The strong music of hard times,
In a world forever without a plan
For itself as a world,
Must be played on the concertina.

The poor piano forte
Whimpers when the moon above East Hartford
Wakes us to the emotion, grand fortissimo,
Of our sense of evil,

Of our sense that time has been
Like water running in a gutter
Through an alley to nowhere,
Without beginning or the concept of an end.

The old woman that knocks at the door
Is not our grandiose destiny.
It is an old bitch, an old drunk,
That has been yelling in the dark.

Sing for her the seventy-fold Amen,
White February wind,
Through banks and banks of voices,
In the cathedral-shanty,

To the sound of the concertina,
Like the voice of all our ancestors,
The pére Benjamin, the mére Blandenah,
Saying we have forgot them, they never lived.

spoken = Doug Ross