Powell, Patricia (ed.) / Wisconsin Academy review
Volume 29, Number 3 (June 1983)
Three poems by Bink Noll, p. 7
Three Poems by Bink Nol- Sharing the Wee Hours With Two Classmates Long After Our Families Have Gone To Bed I've taken pains to have the backyard look spellbound-its back turned on the man in the street, cold shoulder, the way high bourgeois art by definition turns: along the street the tight sapling fence to screen our revels from passersby, not one of which has passed by since one. Out there an elm dies its artless death. Inside the fence-besides my old friends- ancient hackberry and walnut trees, black lawn, color drained from flowerbeds as though they too happen in a dream, shrubs in mounds, white lanterns, rotting brick, the bronze Italian fountain plashing- Tennysonian sound. Otherwise, good gin and transcendental quiet. The universe helps out: not one bug since we came out, and the sky at last floats a big moon out. Hours ago we stopped arguing about who's wrong and concentrated on getting drunk. If they came out and caught us, our kids would criticize our carefree ease, whom we've so far spared much to care about. They can't tell yet what it's like to need middle-aged flesh to put off its weight. Who cares what we've talked about? We have flown consequence so well tonight we can't even remember of what. We are our professors' dreams come true, gentlemen, the flower of our time. When we pee on the shrubbery we plash. Our bodies feel luminous as moons- as the three lighted ricepaper globes hung at the far end of the terrace. A zephyr crosses. And chills the hair on our arms. On the wrought-iron chair arms the first dew has begun to condense. Dawn waits. The backdoor is miles away when one of us must go fetch more ice. Keeping in Touch Weeks after Epiphany I learn by heart your tidings-y our single-sentence jottings, notes, dittoed letters, real ones and plain best wishes. Done, I toss the m in a used grocery sack and muffle mys elf for ten-below to go burn them in a] i oil drum between garages. Your names leave my hands yet leave me in Wisconsin grateful for the year's news about all of you one by one crossing the great meridians: journeys, job cl anges, changes of address, parents' senescence, their partings, other partings, children grown up, espousals, spawnings, ill health, dangers, muted hurt, good luck, gardens, honors- the annals of people out of step enough to care about al d write their brief lives to be read and reread in an unlettered country given to random buddies and amnesia. The Burglar Some things gone, obvious and insured. Plus cash. How could he-raised in an opposite class-not have failed to distinguish the truly dear? So, no harm done. Just the nuisance of straightening up after the plunder and waiting for the house to repair its privacy, as if he had only wit enough to scratch on windowpanes HOUSE EATS, and not to steal away with pictures of our family confort in that felon's skull. Thank god. I can afford to, so to speak, reglaze windows. ". . . can afford" and radicals scold "You have too ml ch." The burglar has vulgarized their error. How Iure-like a hyena's-his purpose is. He sneaks in to scavenge the dream he dreams of wea th and eats up essential parts. Direct as a child e takes justice into his own hands. From nursery on, MY/MINE breeds More bound to it than I, my wealth degrades him. I can afford to pr tend to feel sorry that that's what h annpnc- hilt if T'e-1 cnaliht himan war. ........ o -.-.s .. ''^- ". - .. .L X....111111..J V~I1 ership would have clamped my hands on his throat. As it is, he already savages on to the next thrills of fright, of not being caught- exquisitely wary, swift, trained: a success- while house forgers him. Like me, it can afford just this much wea lth to be redistributed, a sign of vigor. We eat his manhood up. June 1983/Wisconsin Academy Review/7 ....
Copyright 1983 by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters.| For information on re-use, see http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright