William F Dougherty

(West Hartford, CT)

Sketch for Sanctuary in Elizabeth Park


(Neighborhood refuge for Wallace Stevens.)

Aficionados from Porlock prowl the park, *
Ransacking junipers for tell-tale tropes:
Exegetes in earnest vexing the ferns,
Fluttering mallards off the mocha pond,
Hot for fictive tablets of adagia,
Convinced only correlatives are real.

All ignore this warty toad, transmuted,
Revenant to provenance, my belly
Puffing a duple beat as blinks and whines
Tumble about my phonic snare, triggered
Tongue. Forget oboes, bassoons and mangos.
Here at the muddy center I am real.


*Porlock: Person from Porlock interrupted Coleridge's 'Kubla Khan';
hence, it remains only a fragment.
[A variation of this poem was Pub. in The Wallace Stevens Journal, Vol.23, No.2, pg.197]

Submitted: Monday, May 14, 2012
Edited: Saturday, May 19, 2012

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