Ken Smith

(1938 - 2003)

In the Next Street


there’s only ever one argument: his,
bawling out whoever punctuates
the brief intervals his cussing
| interrupts, something unheard, reason perhaps.

What you never get is silence,
always some groan on the horizon
out on the borders of attention
where would be quiet if they let it.

Always some conversation far away,
foreign, banal. dramatic, translated
it means my wife’s name is Judit.
I am an engineer from Spidertown.

What to reply? Your Majesty,
my name is Smith. All lies anyway,
all we do is get drunk, the evening’s end
collapsing loosely into gutturals.

We drink to silence, where the stars think.
We drink to the music of the rain on the roof.
We drink to mothers, brothers, lovers, kids,
to the candle burning down its length

till someone blows it out. Distance
makes no difference, the same want
for love or money, the numbers of the winning line
in the state lottery like a needle in the brain.

And then I’ve had enough. I want
to go home now, far away, to plug myself
back into the sockets, the blackbird,
the evening humming stories to itself,

everything in its place, the moths,
the mouse in the mousetrap, and
in the next street the same old argument.
He’s sure he’s right.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: silence, money, music, rain, home, brother, star

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (In the Next Street by Ken Smith )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Road to Black, Amateur Vagabond
  2. Her Unconditional Beauty, Mpho Tsakata
  3. Lead Me Into Light, Valerie Dohren
  4. Nature Is Full Of Cuts, Is It Poetry
  5. A SAD STORY IN A POEM قصة حزينة في قصيدة, MOHAMMAD SKATI
  6. Prospects For Peace, Denys E. W. Jones
  7. I am the Zee, Nalini Chaturvedi
  8. Daisies, Mark Heathcote
  9. Sailing away, Nalini Chaturvedi
  10. Altered reality, Nalini Chaturvedi

Poem of the Day

poet Christina Georgina Rossetti

Where sunless rivers weep
Their waves into the deep,
She sleeps a charmed sleep:
Awake her not.
Led by a single star,
She came from very far
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

[Hata Bildir]