Timothy Robbins: “Accident (for Jibanananda Das)”

Accident (for Jibanananda Das)

A new poet. By accident.
He was in a shadow
dragged across
continents, eating up a
tiny part of them,
hugged in a stiff
envelope that bore
my name
and whereabouts. Still,
an accident. As
with any new poet,
whether it’s wisdom
or sin, I begin
with his face. Broad —
a wooden bridge
gently curving over
a gully. Picante and soft —
an overripe sock. I
read three pages. Come
away with the sense
that growth and decay
are not different
stages. That this poet
and I grew up
in identical villages at
the dying ends of
sundered ages. That
he too wanted to know
everyone —
yet knew the
real tally would
be zero plus none.

 

Timothy Robbins teaches ESL. He has a B.A. in French and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics. He has been a regular contributor to Hanging Loose since 1978. His poems have appeared in Three New PoetsSlantMain Street Rag, Adelaide Literary MagazineOff The Coast, and others. His collection Denny’s Arbor Vitae was published in 2017. He lives with his husband of twenty years in Kenosha, Wisconsin, birthplace of Orson Welles. Check out Timothy on YouTube.

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