Wednesday, March 27, 2019


Regarding the Eclipse

Chances are I’ll never tell

the story of how I found myself

adrift at sea

in a twelve-foot dinghy with a single oar;

or how, once, in the mountains

called Sierra Nevada,

trapped on a snowbound freight train,

my intrepid companions and I

existed for several days

on a fifty-pound sack of frozen marshmallows.

In retrospect

you could call it adventure, but at the time

it was nothing special.  Anyway,

some events—like cloud formations

or teenage children—

are completely inexplicable.

My ambitions were nebulous at best.

All I ever wanted to be was a glass blower

or a wood carver

or failing that, a utility infielder.

A career in the Foreign Service

looked promising once, but I couldn’t feature myself

in formal attire

on a balcony overlooking the capital . . .

What would I be doing there?

Serving cocktails

to the Peruvian attaché’s voluptuous wife?

And so it is that I stand

on the sagging porch of a tumbledown house

regarding the lunar eclipse

through binoculars held steady by my stalwart left hand.

With the other I gesticulate wildly,

but fail to observe

any change

in the shadow cast by this earth on the moon.


Cathedrals & Parking Lots
Clemens Starck
Collected Poems
Empty Bowl, 2019