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Exit, Pursued by a Bear.

 Given the flecks of October stars, this withered scribble of
garden shapes, I sit listening hard to the night, unsure what else to
do. That on-the-prowl screech-yip of coyotes,
 something snuffling the scrub oak, joining the wind. Must we love this?
Yet another autumn tramping it down, all the meager stuff we blunder
towards, hoard
for consolation, how each day lurches us towards, as The Winter's
Tale
 has it, things dying, things newborn. If that play is true
, someone once began, though I can't imagine
how he finished the thought. Small hope, in any case, since it's
all a fabulous lie: that concocted Bohemian coast, the long dead
resurrected as statue, stepping down
stage-right. And Antigonus eaten by that matter-of-fact bear after he
abandons the child. No one can explain how, in the months before my son
was born; there was a funeral
almost every week. Believe me: since I can't say anything that
seems true about either the dying or newborn, I wish the detritus from
that time might somehow be worth more:
stacks of creamers on red-eye flights, another thick-striped tie. Or
deep within a room that seemed to be lumbering away, where no one spoke
of morphine drips or cancer consuming
a face, a third cousin describing the sky opening in sorrow after a
Longhorn loss. The skies open as Antigonus is mauled off-stage & the
storm swallows a boatload of men
like raisins in flaming brandy--that it's ali untrue brings no one
back & between the sea, the wind, the bear & the man,
there's too much roaring to speak of, although a shepherd tries.
He tries even as the howling reaches its pitch, yet exits whooping of
luck since by then he's found the impossible girl with her basket
of gold. Meaning even if there's more
to say about devouring, leave room for blessing, grace. Thus lying in
bed, black clothes crimped on hotel chair-backs for the next unending
day, pressing the rim of a glass
into the unlikely globe of my wife's eight-month belly, inscribing
fast-fading ring upon ring & hearing nothing of course but at least
knowing what I was listening for. 


MATT DONOVAN received his MA from Lancaster University and his MFA from New York University, where he attended as a New York Times Fellow. He is the author of Vellum (recipient of the 2007 Bakeless Prize in Poetry and published by Houghton Mifflin), which won the 2008 Larry Levis Reading Prize, and his poems have been published in numerous journals, including AGNI, Poetry, The Kenyon Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Threepenny Review, and The Virginia Quarterly Review.
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Title Annotation:two poems
Author:Donovan, Matt
Publication:The American Poetry Review
Article Type:Poem
Date:Mar 1, 2010
Words:492
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