Ron Smith

Dedicated to John Boggs

Ford’s walrus mouth open, Joyce’s mustachioed down tight,
puffy Pound sleep-deprived, tobaccoless like Quinn,
who seems, maybe, beginning to smile. Quinn of the proper
coller, trim, lean, white hanky corners pocketpeeking,
the sharpest, warmest, most ironic eyes.
How ironic.

Fatly garrulous, elegantly disapproving, crankily disheveled,
imperiously amused—that is (again), left to right, prose to verse,
poor to rich; fat/lean/fattish/lean; prodigal to prudent;
producers to consumer. One solicitor’s eyebrow raised
but mouth in easy control, no gabbing, no resentment, no
smoldering suspicion, no need to speak. At ease with the great
and the greatly grumpy.

The center, empty, a Pontormo: JJ and EP V away
from each other, overlapped by talker and lawyer,
whose arms connect J’s combed temple,
P’s bearded cheek.

Guess whose hair flares up out of the frame?
Guess whose shirt’s nowhere near white?
The place is his, the year ’23, Fascist Year I, he’ll note
much later. Why’s his thumb out of his rumpled pocket?
What, really, looks new here? Joyce’s haircut, Quinn’s
Victorian collar.

“Ford, Joyce, Pound, Quinn” first appeared in The Hollins Critic. It is reprinted here from Its Ghostly Workshop, Louisiana State University Press, 2013.


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Shawangunk Review Volume XXX Copyright © 2019 by Ron Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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