The Poetry of
Jack Scott


The light is bad today
bad for me, too bright,
too thin and sickly;
here is Maine again.

The loop of Mobius
acting as a knot
will not loosen yet,
this tourniquet
not quite tight enough to kill,
there is some mercy in its grip.

It chafes to bring this back,
but it never really went away.
A perfect meal laid out
shared only with the food itself
at rendezvous for one thus far.

The waitress is a shadow
serving shadow wine to me,
expensive in the sun
at my mushroom table
on the sidewalk
catching servings of the sun.

I tried to keep on loving you
when you crossed my mind.
Schlitz is imported from the kitchen
in the dark to inside people.
At the sidewalk
only German beer is served, and wine.

How very European.
In Maine beer sickened me
to abstinence.
Anonymous behind my wine
I had the memory to recognize,
within camouflage to see
what I could no longer be.
I tasted death in cigarettes
when I wanted most to die
and kept on smoking.

Waiting is arrested time,
unwarranted by thought or deed,
waiving all intention
uncontested in the court of clock
frozen by the metronome of glances
despite my wish
to ignore the pendulum.

I look at couples holding hands,
locking eyes at traffic lights
moving blindered, tethered
across the wide and trafficked streets
as light and safe as ones
in passage amid clouds.
Some pairs dine well, at least enough,
taking dessert ahead of meal,
occasionally instead,
while uncoupled ones eat alone
suffering dull meat.

Which are the bonded pairs?
Easy enough for me to spot;
they had so obviously
what I had not.
They do not look at me,
why would they?
They do not truly look
at anything out
so perfect is their radar.

How could they know
I would be half
of one of them
waiting for my other,
or ticket agent for the Ark
watching twos and twos
take board passage
as I man my station
aware that ones like me
will likely miss that ship

L20 ®Copyright Jack Scott. All rights reserved.