Home > 3. My Poetry & Translations > William Blake Drives 1-70 (A Poem)

William Blake Drives 1-70 (A Poem)

RT has been re-reading Miranda Seymour’s biography of Robert Graves; the man was famous for the effort and attention to detail he put into his poems, a fact underscored when RT last year acquired a copy of his and Alan Hodge’s The Reader Over Your Shoulder.

To some extent, RT’s apartment serves the same function as Graves’ office/den space in Majorca; the downside is that RT in busy periods (such as the one he’s currently going through) can only access his personal space from time to time. The result is that, unlike Graves, he must edit on the fly, at the screen, or out of thin air (as he did at a reading last night).

And then there are the poems that just show up occasionally; a great title comes to mind, or a line, or a joke. The process starts: the poem becomes a scrap-book in search of a plot (or at least a theme). Research is necessary (if only to refresh the mind). And what about a great last line? Poems like this are partly gifts, partly construction, partly persistence. The first draft of the poem offered below, i think, will end up asking the question, “How does the poet survive in a world like ours?”  RT


William Blake Drives 1-70



it’s always easier outbound, but

he doesn’t know that yet:

so it’s just him and Katherine

and, in the back seat, Gabriel


in a cherry-red Mazda Miata,

top down; he’s wearing a blue silk


******his waist-coat rakishly

unbuttoned, his wig lost to

the wind,

fly-away hair streaming;

Katherine’s a bit more demure

in her watered silk dress with the

lace collar & string of pearls;



*****in his trademark shark-skin

jacket and leather boots, his hair greased

(he looks like Elvis, and yes, Graceland

is next on the bucket-list);


he’s doing 72, the speeding ticket acquired

near Barnesville still fresh

in mind; “no relative, right?” the officer had asked

with a chuckle

(well, at least people get it);


he hasn’t decided about all

this yet: one moment he and

Catherine had been sitting in their

lawn chairs, naked, and the next



and then, in a vision, he sees the

House. “Nice!” Gabriel says.

it started, he was quite sure,

when Gabriel showed up for the

first time with an acquaintance, who identified

himself as Urthona

then they put him on an industrial-strength

anti-psychotic, and, worse, it actually worked;

Gabriel went away; he and Katherine went down

to Ocean City for the weekend–

and enjoyed themselves…


“if you can’t be poor anymore,” he remarks,

“you might as well have fun.”


Image: Dante Hell XII: William Blake. WikiCmns; Public Domain.


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