Entropy in Wiesbaden

You peeped out over the Roman wall
into the German street
battered by the slant, stubborn rain.
What you saw was Europe worn away,
its crowded, fractal script.
Lots of money, well-cut clothes,
prim dwellings, curt gestures,
ghastly food - and, finally Goethe
in his memorious, courtier mode,
patriarch, santo doctus, mode
of the all-enlightened poet.
Nothing to tell on your return
except for the now constant,
final rain. A breath of the Holy Spirit
entered the mouth of the passing moment -
but you, present, more diligent
with detail than the Middle Ages
of the Black Forest,
bore witness to the puritan sermon
and the post-industrial dust,
the overbearing views of
some academic, the counsel
of an editor astray
in Frankfurt. Entropy
engulfed Wiesbaden
while over and over you were reborn
against the blaze of time.

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Comments (2)


Great suggestions. Wish more portey editors followed them. Increasingly, it seems, many editors of portey journals act as if they are doing poets a favor by existing. Their pomposity and rudeness can be overbearing at times. I NEVER send to a publication that charges to read a writer’s work. I realize it may be financially difficult to produce a journal, but I think charging to consider a writer’s work is to ignore the fact that most writers cannot live from their work and few are independently wealthy. I also have a few other ideas about what makes a good editor. One of these is not simply accepting work because the person submitting is a friend. In the 1960s I founded and co-edited a bilingual literary journal called EL CORNO EMPLUMADO / THE PLUMED HORN. It published punctually every three months for more than eight years. My goal was to put out what I considered the most exciting work I could. People were often astonished when I didn’t accept poems from a friend simply because he/she was a friend. The journal’s overall offering was sacred to me. I wanted it to be the best it could be. When I go back and reread those old issues, I no longer like all the work. But I still have the sense that we were producing the very best journal possible at the time.


I live in Wiesbaden and came across your poem. It’s very lovely.

Best wishes,


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