On Meeting Charles Wright

posted Jun 2, 2009

A Saturday afternoon in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“The best place to live in the United States.”
It’s September and the Galileo space probe has indicated
there may be water on one of Jupiter’s moons,
but there aren’t many left who really know and sing the blues.

It’s cool, and the leaves that can almost reach us from their branches
scratch against the building behind us. A red-tailed hawk
circles under the cumulus clouds, a scotoma with wings.
What can we say to make a difference regarding
“The Declaration of Jihad on the Americans Occupying the Country of the Two Sacred Places”?

You remind me that “poetry is at least as important for what is not said,”
but any water on Europa should have frozen long ago.
It’s the aura before a migraine, my Cassandra of the Light.
Let’s take a walk into the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Let’s make like clouds. I’ll bring the water; you bring the sounds.

Scott Keeney is the author of Sappho Does Hay(na)ku. His work has appeared in Court Green, Columbia Poetry Review, Poetry East, and other literary magazines.

We’ve published three more poems by Keeney: “On Meeting John Ashbery,” “On Meeting Charles Simic,” and “On Meeting Elizabeth Bishop.”