When the wind goes down, and with it night
surrounds the elementary, fantastic gardens–
idling a moment in recess from the crowd
by Byzantine fountains studded with night jasmine–
your talk of Shakespeare burdens deciduous leaves
trembling the shadows where I wait
for variants with sterner variation,
peppering the icteous footstep’s pause.
Blown through with visitorious tremulations–
veritably keen, they publish a rumored text
long caught among the leaves, the horns and bramble–
I wait it out, drinking the air’s shrinkage.
My old reprobate of blasts and Stambouls,
carries a sorry cane. For him night’s gin,
but I am young as any promises,
colliding with the imperious speculum.
© Ben Mazer, First published by Rædleafpoetry India
Photo Credit: Vanessa Barnard
Ben Mazer was born in New York City in 1964, and educated at Harvard University, where he studied with Seamus Heaney and William Alfred, and at the Editorial Institute at Boston University, where his advisors were Christopher Ricks and Archie Burnett. “A Night in Claremont” is from his new collection New Poems (Pen & Anvil, 2013). Among his other collections are Poems (Pen & Anvil, 2010), and, in India, Tales of the Buckman Tavern (Mumbai: Poetrywala, 2012). He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is the editor of The Battersea Review (http://thebatterseareview.com/).