Not Too Much Like the Other Poem
Perhaps he was a boy
perhaps they were the fish were
the swim-withs in this room
in this home he had a father.
He had a gentleness of lossings
and the crew on the boat was finishing
its package of salad sandwich
in wax paper for
the morning cut the crust trim
the teeth of barracuda night.
I think a detectiveness had lessons
and a boy he was gentle
and a rooming to be desired I thought.
Perhaps it was a night for me
all night staring of the days and days
only fighting away a little
on playground as if the wrapping
were not tight enough or trimmed
enough or cornered enough like the ball.
Perhaps this basket was not ten-feet-tall
the swimmers of the rooming would have been
fine lining through more delicately shored.
I can’t say I love the boy or loved to be the boy
I can’t say I loved anything I can
say he had a father and with the father
were the boy’s fish it seemed lovely.
For I must have known sure what that was that.
The boy’s locks are unfrozen as the room
in the home was there any other boy’s life
to be feeling with and not just the toying?
Are the fish in the picture entering
perhaps there was the boy and perhaps the fish
not hapless a certain comb hangs from the ceiling
are the fish entering no cause to be alive
enough to cause ceiling a somewhere the camera
and if the fish are entering if they are not stirring
flawless and impenetrating are they a life?
Sounding as it may seem the lights are on
again a flap trips into the currency
of the swim-withs the peripeties in a silly lie
was I to say sickly no not the mirror vision
the other version of the boy perhaps
and the life perhaps and the trimless swim-with.
[Robert Mueller’s poetry can be found online in Moria, SugarMule and Spinozablue, and in print in American Letters & Commentary, First Intensity and elsewhere. He has authored poetry reviews and a number of scholarly and critical articles ranging from an original composition at the Barbara Guest home page in the Electronic Poetry Center to discussions (in ELH) of the intricate courtiership involvements during the reign of Elizabeth as they may be reflected in Spenser’s Faerie Queene, and (in Centennial Review) of John Ashbery’s versions of poetry in the phenomenal flux of Hegelian dialectic. He is a contributing editor for the brand new Far Out Further Out Out Of Sight, an assembly magazine with one issue under its belt that is also available online, and is responsible for an entry in the forthcoming My Word! Contemporary Writers on the Words They Love or Loathe from Sarabande Books.]
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