Wednesday, January 28, 2009

John Updike, 1932-2009

John Updike has died at age 76. No jokes, just a poem of his I like and excerpted here a few years back.

Sunday in Boston
The fags and their gay dogs are patrolling
the Garden; on Boylston the blacks,
hollow-backed, demonstrate styles of meander
in this hearttown theirs by default.

The winos on Commonwealth, wiser than wisdom,
blink eyes pale as bottle bottoms;
sun-pickled and lined fine as maps, their faces
beam from within this particular nowhere.

Pistachio George sits high. July bed bloom.
The Ritz's doorman sports his worn maroon.
Above us like a nearer sky great Pei's
glass sheet, cerulean, clasps clouds to its chest.

And, unapologetic in their pallor, girls
in jigging halters and sordid shorts parade
festive colorless flesh regathered from
its Saturday spill, the bearded lover split.

Brick Boston, city of students and drunks!
In Godless doggy righteousness we bask.
The suburbs send us their stifling cars, and we
in turn give back the hollow sound of bells.



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