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BARTOLOMEO VANZETTI

To walk down the street now, to see the Common
In its accustomed desultory life,
One would almost say no ration of voltage
Could ever matter very much, nor Boston ever cease.

The still pure white of magnolia, flecked
With red, sweetens the cloying air.
The subway digests & disgorges. There is love,
Still fumbling love, one supposes, somewhere.

Up the hill the gilded statehouse stands,
Costlier than a sepulcher. The Shabby years
Move in. If you had second sight
You would see the uncut grass, the cracked arches.

The sailors on Scollay Square hunt whores
With dutiful diligence. Sex
Is a kind of penance. The joy of the nerves
Is dulled in the dying city.

The spring sky is close, a low haze,
As it was one August. Magnolia blossoms
Drip their dried blood. The slow zombies
Cross the Common, recross, with fixed eyes.
Jerusalem, Jerusalem.

---Chad Walsh
from Chelsea 8: Plays & Political Poetry (NY: 1960)

Poem come across today while cataloging the magazine Chelsea 8.
This poem is not online so far as I can determine & I have no idea if
it was collected in any of his books of poetry.

Walsh was a christian poet & edited a collection of
C. S. Lewis. See
http://zinnia.umfacad.maine.edu/~sharkey/bpj/walsh.html
or http://zinnia.umfacad.maine.edu/~sharkey/bpj/index/W.htm

David Brown
Recollection Used Books
http://recollectionbooks.com

A page from The Stan Iverson Memorial Library & InfoShop,
http://recollectionbooks.com/siml/library/index.html