25 November 2006

Frank Bidart

[from Frank Bidart's Golden State, 1973]

Self-Portrait, 1969

He’s still young —; thirty, but looks younger —
or does he? . . . In the eyes and cheeks tonight,
turning in the mirror, he saw his mother, —
puffy; angry; bewildered . . . Many nights
now, when he stares there, he gets angry: —
something unfulfilled there, something dead
to what he once thought he surely could be —
Now, just the glamour of habits . . .
                                                      Once, instead,
he thought insight would remake him, he’d reach
— what? The thrill, the exhilaration
unraveling disaster, that seemed to teach
necessary knowledge . . . became just jargon.

Sick of being decent, he craves another
crash. What reaches him except disaster?

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