Saturday, August 27, 2005


In Response To A Rumor That The Oldest Whorehouse In Wheeling, West Virginia, Has Been Condemned

I will grieve alone,
As I strolled alone, years ago, down along
The Ohio shore.
I hid in the hobo jungle weeds
Upstream from the sewer main,
Pondering, gazing. I saw, down river,
At Twenty-third and Water Streets
By the vinegar works,
The doors open in early evening.
Swinging their purses, the women
Poured down the long street to the river
And into the river. I do not know how it was
They could drown every evening.
What time near dawn did they climb up the other shore,
Drying their wings? For the river at Wheeling, West Virginia,
Has only two shores:
The one in hell, the other
In Bridgeport, Ohio. And nobody would commit suicide, only
To find beyond death
Bridgeport, Ohio.

-James Dickey



portia said...

Marvelous, spd. And what a delicious love letter David Orr offered up to Mr. Wright. We can only pray that letter writing will continue anew though I fear the beauty of a James Wright or a Rainer Maria Rilke's unedited thoughts may have lost their glory in today's millieu.

Somehow I too must find a way of making things; not plastic written things, but realities that arise from the craft itself. Somehow I too must discover the smallest constituent element, the cell of my art, the tangible immaterial means of expressing everything....
Rilke, "Letters on Cezanne"

spd rdr said...