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The Beanstalk Country

July 14, 2002|Tennessee Williams | From "The Collected Poems of Tennessee Williams," edited by David Roessel and Nicholas Moschovakis

You know how the mad come into a room,

too boldly,

their eyes exploding on the air like roses,

their entrances from space we never entered.

They're always attended by someone small and friendly

who goes between their awful world and ours

as though explaining but really only smiling,

a snowy gull that dips above a wreck.

They see not us, nor any Sunday caller

among the geraniums and wicker chairs,

for they are Jacks who climb the beanstalk country,

a place of hammers and tremendous beams,

compared to which the glassed solarium

in which we rise to greet them has no light.

The news we bring them, common, reassuring,

drenched with the cheerful idiocy of noon,

cannot compete with what they have to tell

of what they saw through cracks in the ogre's oven.

And we draw back. The snowy someone says,

Don't mind their talk, they are disturbed today!

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