Happy Birthday, Eugenio Montale
(October 12, 1896 - September 12, 1981)
Loud quarrels, shoppers, gripers:
Milan with a red billboard
in blue evening rain...
a street of squared grey stone,
luminous rail tracks,
a web of overhead wires.
Yes, couples in love... and the lonely.
Perhaps God listens to gossip.
Perhaps the premise for the divine
is thin barley soup, no meat.
Every paradise I entered was crowded.
Sugary kisses in Aspen,
blueberry scones in Sun Valley,
but the brittle flow of walkers
gave off the sound of ice
splitting basalt. Like you,
I tried to locate the Good.
Knowing the final result is carbon.
Let us drink, gloom-poet,
poet with golden lines
at raw solitude-hours.
Let us sing invisible songs
majestic confections of eternity.
What gain from collapse-pensive
or doubt? It is no time to envy the dead.