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Lost Generations

"Soyez indugent - pitiť pour nous....."
--Apollinaire

The muttled stories of spring
have grown stale
after so many years abroad.
Stacked half-cords of wood
remain as they were while
seeded beds are overgrown
and inactive. Fresh bees, ancestors
of those I had known,
rummage through the lilacs.
The heavy wind is as I remember.
 
The days of expatriates
are long gone-

Pound editing from Rapallo,
his publisher on Wabash Ave. in Chicago.

Leftists crying for Eugene Debs
and Union Square Park.

Reading and rereading
Unamuno's
"How to Write a Novel".
The writing came more easily then,
with deadlines for the Saturday Evening
Post always the next day.

 
We were the self-proclaimed
intellectuals of Paris.
Verlaine sipping absinthe by the Seine

"J'ai bu ce soir une absinthe verte..... "

Hemingway declaring that if you
couldn't throw the bottle,
you could always drink from it.

Weekend drives to Montparnasse
followed by one night stands
at the Hotel Raspail.
Everyone was afraid
of Gertrude Stein, though
Picasso painted eighty
portraits of her.

If there was an occasional
tragedy-
(poor Hart Crane jumping off that ship!)
so what. Suicide was a logical
corollary to work.
The readers expected it.

The Great War gave everyone
a reason to be an atheist.
Now the transition is complete
from capitalism to Marx
and from Marx
to the Catholic Church.

The terrain has become
impregnable from years
of neglect. The once meticulous
garden is littered
with rotted chestnuts.
Tomorrow I shall rake
and weed and step back to see
what else needs to be done.

 

  Jay D. Mancini

 

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