THE CORTLAND REVIEW
Stanton is widely published as a poet and scholar. His poems have appeared in Poetry,
Poetry East, Harvard Review, New York Quarterly, and many other
journals. His latest collection of poems is Imaginary Museum: Poems on Art
(Time Being Books, 1999). He teaches art history and American studies at the
University of Hawai'i at Manoa.
||Storm at Cedarmere
for W. C. Bryant
The sound swells and turns above Bryant's
autumnal home as rising winds flail
the trees, and pale-white mists shroud
upland steeps, turning gloom inside out,
hollowing clouds of bright such as Tom Cole
could color at the heights of Kaaterskill.
One bay window finds Bryant's pond a cold
bright stone of light in hands held out,
an offering to the slanting dark of rains
that won't end soon. The other window sees
the harbor wanting to keep on gleaming
beyond all drumbeat melancholias,
over full with remaining alive,
giving Bryant delicate redeemings
sweet, dangerous dreams of almost seaward
held to his long island's vastness of Sound.
For Sinatra in the Wee Small Hours
Look at yourself, you voice, so very glad
to be unhappy, though unrequited love's
a bore, and you've got it pretty bad,
and you can't get along without her,
no, not really very well, though you try
and try to be so glad to be unhappy
and smile long notes through a mood indigo,
your blues so cool, holding the smiling whiskey
of your aging vibrato, swirled in the glass
of unrelenting style, deep in a dream
of some sort of her we've all lost, too, with you
seeing all our losses, as if you were singing
somehow all our sorrows, every life we've
wept tearless in the wee small hours, mourning
with a smile and a last, long curl of smoke, adrift.
Dark Birds of the World
magpies screech, chevrons
of gray and black and white,
brandishing sharp-tail knives.
swarms of mismatched skies.
Huge crows haunt
Long Island oaks.
High cries recollect,
but I cannot make reply.