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William J. Orry

William J. Orry

 

A Year Abroad

I

Instead of going to see a silent
Film, we talked all afternoon
Long in a dim café on that street
I walked down every day. A sign –
“Sold out” –  hung at the entrance
to the cinema.

                               It overlooked the river

And the days were still to come
When I would drink beer on that balcony
Wishing I could see just the Ouse
And no shadows, no ghosts, no apparitions.

II

You compliment your fingers –
good for Brahms, you say,
For intense, abrupt pieces –
And your hands dart
Over a piano

I cannot see
Over the table in the
Café on that street
where I lived in
when we met.

III

On a frozen stiff lawn
three waste bins lay
Like huddled corpses.

                       Hull in the distance

                       Blows infinite wind

                       In our faces, making

                       Us weep unwillingly.

Harried, we arrive
At the lit corner of the night,
that petrol station
where we split.

IV

Endings stand
Like eclipsing moons
Between me and
those bright beginnings.

The alignment rarely
Exact, the laws
of light and warmth
Beyond my reach.

In every other direction
Faint flickers –
What could have been.

J B Morrell Library

Among row after row
Of all that man
Has ever striven to know

A cornucopia of dust,
Dead trees and long
Unventilated hours,

Sit embalmed readers hidden
By hard and softcover walls
Of romanesque solidity.

In these barracks they dither
before the assault life
will lead against them.


East Coast

Space confuses Time.
Did I escape the rain
By coming North?
Because it’s Later?

As I alight in York
The last unevaporated drops
Of that southern, earlier,
Drizzle drop onto
Platform 6, dry as always,
Shielded from Above
By the arched, curved structure
Set on stone beams.

I go back painlessly
To the fear of that first time,
The city just the place
Of what would be: walled,
Old, religious, a little
Like home, but for the river.

And unsummoned I
return: without a hurried
passenger’s bump
Or a loud lament of a train
Zooming by without calling
At this station.

For now, the past attracts
But it does not trap.


William J. Orry is 22. He was born in Southeast England and spent his formative years in Bari where his father taught at the Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro. The 13 years spent in the Mezzogiorno afforded him a lifelong astonishment at the ways of his fellow Englishmen as well as a grammatical inability worthy of a foreigner. The latter fruit of experience left him little choice when considering a literary occupation: he would only ever make it as a poet. He graduated in Economics from the University of York and has kept North of parallel 53rd ever since. He would like to take this opportunity to thank W. H. Auden and Constantine Cavafy for their generous contributions.


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This entry was posted on 01/11/2013 by in Poesia.

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