Tuesday, March 8, 2022

The Corner Bar

It is an island universe for astronomers
at the end of their sidereal shifts
and possibly the end of their wits
when they cannot comprehend
the beatitude of rising constellations

and the quiet, empty serenity
hanging between the stars.
They seek the comfort of coordinates,
the declination and right ascension
onto bar stools lining the mahogany altar.

The background noise of the universe
is “Stand by Your Man” or “Free Ride”
and emanates from the cluster
of neon beer signs, red giants and white dwarfs
and Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes.

These night watchmen drink what’s on tap
and wonder why their wives, at light speed,
gave them an unheavenly heave.
No stand by your man. No free ride.
Dark matter indeed.

After last call they will develop
glass photographic plates in their dreams
to better understand the mystery
of the coming dawn’s wide canvas
that is kissed by a leafy tree, a shock of hair,

brushes that dab the spectrum
oozing on the painter’s palette
and thereby create the future perfect tense
that is the rising of the cities
and savannahs of the world.

~William Hammett

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