Two Poems by W.I. Goldstein

soft cartel april 2018


All the methods to become important I have tried:

The names reversed
The cufflinks italicized
The spectacles tinted
The handcards printed, and a red
Telephone with chimes to ring the
Ears of the callers. None
Has worked.

Drenched by the rains of the glorious
At twenty, at thirty declaring the parabolic, I
Learned to tapdance at forty.
I cultivated mirrors and refused the shawl.
Like a general to his battles, I prepared
To celebrate.

My architecture has yet to approximate
A proper statuary.
My voice probes the orphic caves without an echo.
Quietness, all is quietness in the mercenaries of my soul
The questions still compete:

Which greatness?

What war?

Where is the army to follow my bugle call?


Sailing forward on the houseboat of life
Kids, the wife, poverty in the corner.
The shaking oars
And creaking winches from the mists
Culling the lost triremes
Of another age.

Heroic, they called it:
Aeschylus and Pindar
Reciting Homer
Old Homer
An authority, venerated, hoary
Even way back then.

The houseboat of life creaking
The wife, kids, poverty
In the corner
Venerated, hoary, an authority now
On this ocean, my ocean
But no Homer.

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