Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Rickey Laurentiis

Black Gentleman

Black Gentleman

Black Gentleman

There are eyes, glasses even, but still he can’t see
     what the world sees seeing him.
They know an image of him they themselves created.
He knows his own: fine-lined from foot to finger,
each limb adjusted, because it’s had to,
    to achieve finally flight – 

                                                      though what’s believed
in him is a flightlessness, a sinking-down,
as any swamp-mess of water I’m always thinking of
might draw down again the washed-up body
of a boy, as any mouth I’ve yearned for would take down,
wrestler-style, the boy’s tongue with its own    . . .    

                                                     What an eye can’t imagine
it can’t find: not in blood, swollen in the stiff knees
of a cypress, not definitely in some dreaming man’s dream – 
    Let’s have his nature speak.
What will the incredible night of  him say here, to his thousand
moons, now that he can rise up to any tree, rope or none, but not fear it?
Close

Black Gentleman

There are eyes, glasses even, but still he can’t see
     what the world sees seeing him.
They know an image of him they themselves created.
He knows his own: fine-lined from foot to finger,
each limb adjusted, because it’s had to,
    to achieve finally flight – 

                                                      though what’s believed
in him is a flightlessness, a sinking-down,
as any swamp-mess of water I’m always thinking of
might draw down again the washed-up body
of a boy, as any mouth I’ve yearned for would take down,
wrestler-style, the boy’s tongue with its own    . . .    

                                                     What an eye can’t imagine
it can’t find: not in blood, swollen in the stiff knees
of a cypress, not definitely in some dreaming man’s dream – 
    Let’s have his nature speak.
What will the incredible night of  him say here, to his thousand
moons, now that he can rise up to any tree, rope or none, but not fear it?

Black Gentleman

Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère