And How Should I Presume

I've never had the yellow fog

From chimneys in the night

Place its back to mine.

I've never had the yellow ash

Bear its teeth within my chest.

Yet I have seen and felt

The shrouding of the soul,

The tearing of the heart.

And the room where women come and go

Never hears Michelangelo reverberated.

And yet there is time, time for me to say

That by all means "I will dare", and "I will dare"

For I have felt the hands

Pulling at the trousers by the curb,

The brink of up, and down

The street, the dim lighted street

I dare to walk.

And in the room where women come and go

Michelangelo asks directions.

In the night covered with the ash

Of the day I dare to show him.

To board his carriage and show him.

And how should I presume?

The streets, abandoned by the sun

Sleep, yet in the carriage lives visions

And revisions passing endlessly its reflection

Of the lad helping with directions,

Taking direction as the jaws of

Cold gray smoke devours youth.

And pulls at the trouser legs

From the curb, the brink of up

And downwardly spiral all the visions

And revisions echo

In the room where women come and go

Talking of Michelangelo.

And how should I presume?

The eyes have seen through the night

The thick ash covered darkness.

I dissect myself and as I on display

Suspended from the pin exposed

How I did begin, how shall I end?

In that night, that ash coloured darkness

Following thirteen years of sun

Directions were given and taken well

And the trousers fell from the tugs

At the curb, the brink.

And how should I presume?

In the room where women come and go

Speaking of Michelangelo,

And Venus Di Milo.

And how I should presume.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

With much thanks to T. S. Elliot for giving me the guidance in writing what took forty years to say.

View michael's Full Portfolio
owlcrkbrg's picture

Hey, Micheal, fine work here. The linebreaks are very good, which I don't see at pp very often. The poem is engaging and fresh. Thanks for the read!


"There is no good writing, only good editing."

cornaflakegrrrl's picture

It might have taken you 40 years and Eliot's inspiration to say what you did, but indeed you said it well! I stand in awe, hoping that 40 yrs from now I will be able to pen my thoughts just as eloquently. I hope... but 'how should I presume?'
Fabulous! was this poem of yours. Truly!
- Essie =)

"`I grow old... I grow old... I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.` What does that mean, Mr. Marlowe?"
"Not a bloody thing. It just sounds good."
He smiled. "That is from the `Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.` Here's another one. `In the room women come and go/Talking of Michael Angelo.' Does that suggest anything to you, sir?"
Yeah -- it suggests to me that the guy didn't know very much about women."
"My sentiments exactly, sir. Nonetheless I admire T. S. Eliot very much."
A lil quote from Raymond Chandler's, 'The Long Goodbye.' Ever read it? It has nothing to do with your poem, but it seemed to draw from the TS poem so many times that I felt I just had to share. Like, Eliot's work, 'The Long Goodbye' is a classic. =)

Melissa Rives's picture

Wow! Now this is wickedly awesome writing. I have to go back and read it again. Actually as to this comment, I am speechless...but this really is brilliant and I'll have to email you a better comment... when I can find the words. :)