Wednesday, June 1, 2016


M A L C O L M     L O W R Y


This evening Venus sings alone
And homeward feathers stir like silk
Like the dress of a multitudinous ghost
The pinons tear through a sky like milk.
Seagulls all soon to be turned to stone
That seeking I lose beyond the trail
In the woods that I and my ignorance own
Where together we walk on our hands and knees
Together go walking beneath the pale
Of a beautiful evening loved the most
And yet this evening is my jail
And policemen glisten in the trees.


Blue mountains with snow and blue cold rough water,
A wild sky full of stars at rising
And Venus and the gibbous moon at sunrise,
Gulls following a motorboat against the wind,
Trees with branches rooted in air —
Sitting in the sun at noon with furiously
Smoking shadow of the shack chimney —
Eagles drive downward in one,
Terns blow backward,
A new kind of tobacco at eleven,
And my love returning on the four o'clock bus
— My God, why have you given this to us?

No Company But Fear

How did all this begin and why am I here
at this arc of bar with its cracked brown paint,
papegaai, mezcal, hennessey, cerveza,
two slimed spittons, no company but fear:
fear of light, of the spring, of the complaint
of birds and buses flying to far places,
of girls skipping with the wind in their faces,
but no company, no company but fear,
fear of the blowing fountain: and all flowers
that know the sun are my enemies,
these, dead, hours?


The Voyage That Never Ends
fictions  poems  fragments  letters
New York Review of Books, 2007 


 Malcolm Lowry's mysterious demise


jadecar said...

Hey Bob,

Cool to see that you put the Lowry stuff up
plus the link to the article from a few years
back about his demise reconsidered...

- What! do I have to reread
the Volcano again or just
the collected poems?

though the book under consideration
in the review is a great collection
of Lowry uncollected.. like it says:
fictions, poems, fragments, letters
outtakes if I remember correctly.

On the biographical aside, I always
dug the idea of David Markson as the
not-so-missing link between Lowry and
the Beats in NYC; Lowry dead the same
year OTR published; misadventure they
called it then...

" And Policemen glisten in the trees. "

All best,

Bob Arnold / Longhouse said...

Hi John,

There aren't many poems, and in fact
I continue to have the softest spot for the
old, square-shaped City Lights edition I carried around
with me for some weeks one year whenever that was,
feels like yesterday.

Everything has to be compared to —
I see nothing of Lowry in the American Beats.
He was a loner's package.
Beautifully mis-shapen and shaped poetry language
all with a twisted root system of the classics and the now.

Thus, that glowing Policeman image.

It stuck with me, too.

all's well, Bob