The phrase, My garden is wanton, comes to me as I weed.

It feels somewhat Sitwellian.  Later, I’m off to a launch.

It’s one of my own generation who’ll hold forth: he’ll bring the league


Of greybeards out in force. The girls who used to get me

Into bed, quite willingly, by citing Jean Garrigue,

Sylvia Plath, John Berryman, they’re also past their prime,


Wrinkled, wrinkled as I am. Nowadays, I’m off the booze

And don’t want to talk to anyone who isn’t fresh, who

Doesn’t jog my memory of how the eyes would widen, widen,


Smitten by the synergy of intellectual chat.

But now I need a chair, no way am I going to manage listening

While standing up, ah, but what luck! One of the rarities


Actually sits down beside me. She leans to me for a word

And she is a joy forever, just as entirely engaged in what

Words are and what they do as I was at her age and am again


As we discuss the longer line and her notion of inventing some

New punctuation – I suggest an anti-exclamation mark.

We laugh together and her lovely eyes widen, widen.


I am far from dignified, my hollyhocks are mating with

The foxgloves. My garden is wanton, my garden is wanton…

And what is your name? I ask as we rise. Iris, she says.



About anthonyhowelljournal

Poet, essayist, dancer, performance artist....
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