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Apartment on 22nd St. by Alfred Corn

March 20, 1988

For Darragh Park

\o7 Because dusk comes in not long

after five o'clock in Chelsea

and lamps wake to life, a gold

wash falling from them,

resting on the blue-and-white,

lighting small gold clouds

in the dark wood,

or pooling in circles on the carpet;

and presumable cars whisper by

as curling leaves rattle at

the windowsill and the late hour

settles in deeper, in tune,

it could be said, with Delius on FM;

and facts, severe but familiar,

adhere to velvet, to polish, glass

and silver, and to pictures of things.

Or because calm, the readable

representation of calm, is

an achieved thing, like the last

fine overlay of glaze or light;

and because, finally, one is

entitled to a signature, affixed

now much like a reliable fact,

briskly drawn, streamlined like the city--

the painter nods and lays down his brush.

From "The West Door" (Viking: $17.95). Corn has published five books of poetry as well as a collection of essays, "The Metamorphoses of Metaphor." He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. Corn teaches at Columbia University in New York City.

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