It was an Aesthetic Choice as Much as a Moral One
I demand a biopic about Ben Jonson
set in the Soviet Union in which I play
the handsome narrator in
a world gone mad with thuggish brambles
clinging to my body with great sighs
with no doubt of my guilt
henceforth declaimed in heightened tones.
Parnassian or not this idea
you must admit far surpasses leaving
4/5 of my notebooks in a pile
at a pile I attended to attend a party
with Yvor Winters in the 1970s
where hungry and a laureate at heart
we conversed, Yvor and me and his greatest student
about modern art and Colin Firth
and someone in a Lenin mask
who sang the Internationale
interrupted us again and again and again…
Since when was John Hurt so unremarkable?
since when wasn’t Gary Oldman?
They were not in my dream
at the house which was real in the country
I think, I was coughing a lot and I confess
I found it hard to follow. I got lost I mean
in the house in the dream of the country
that wasn’t a dream, it was real
like I said and the clothes scraping in the dryer
whose cycle I sand the driveway
in preparation of the end of;
where was I? something civic…an estate,
finally, that exists, that lets words
lead one to the next to the next
if that’s what you’re into: a natural hierarchy.
If not, a detective novel says
that you may enter the grounds
where the murder was committed
in a dream of a house that was real
of the country the party set out to destroy—
enter the natural sublime who asks
what art the world does not devour?
the one that lives in it, for one
and me with Colin Firth in Budapest
“the Penshurst of the modern world” they said
and I believed it, not asking who or what kind of bird
would take things so literally.
David W. Pritchard holds an MFA in poetry from UMass Amherst, and is currently working on a PhD in modern and contemporary poetry and poetics. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Route 9, TINGE, No Assholes, Red Skeleton, Tammy, and elsewhere. His chapbook Pastoral Trilogy is forthcoming from the Donald Food Memorial Library. He is working on a manuscript of country-house poems, and a jest-book in the style of Robert Armin. David is one of the editors for INDUSTRIAL LUNCH, a magazine of poetry and visual art.