Friday, July 22, 2011

Out of Scale

By a small-town green, a warehouse,
four stories huge, bulks like nightmare.
A railroad siding curves to meet it.
Boxcars crouch at big sliding doors.
Half this structure looks abandoned.
Blank windows, crumbled brick

at the cornice. I park to watch
a pair of skateboarders challenge
traffic on the town’s main street.
They leap the grade crossing and clack
past me without a glance. The rails
look dull, flecked with rust. Weeds

strut between the ties. The boxcars
prove this railroad’s still alive, though.
How can children thrive in towns
so cramped and sullen? What happens
if one of them casually browses
through the poetry of Rimbaud?

Luckily the clatter of skateboards
stifles dissent. Luckily
the curve of the railroad siding
limits perspective. The warehouse,
being so out of scale, suggests
how little aesthetic pleasure

one need take in the larger world.
The trees on the green look shy
and apprehensive. Houses shaded
by the warehouse look small enough
to absorb the residue of dreams.
With the skateboarders safely past,

I drive across the railroad and up
the hill, out of town, avoiding
the cop who has stopped a speeder—
blue lights flashing as a woman
with bold red hair declares herself
innocent of time and space.


amy8jean said...

William: Just read "My Infamous Apple Pancakes" in Issue 2 of Perhaps I Am Wrong About The World. Transporting. As I read, I experienced the world through your senses, the acid test of personal narration. I have encountered your poetry in several small press publications. Without fail, your poetic voice is that of an adult among children. In my judgment, your work scratches out a reliable toehold in the American canon.

joseph a starnino said...

dear dr. doreski,
glad to find you alive, well and writing your butt off. this is joe starnino a former student from 1992 at keene. i often recall the last question you asked of me. you wanted to know if i would continue writing. well, i didn't but i have started to write again as a result of having sponsored the late michael gizzi in a 12 step program for the last three years of his life. through him i also have developed a relationship with rosemarie and keith waldrop. i try to work 2 to 6 hrs a day. i always have thought so very n
much of you and would like to communicate through e-mail at least until i figure out how to download the necessary whatever that will allow me to blog. my e-mail is and my phone is 1-401-226-1956. i'm a freak of nature and still use snail mail so 2081 cranston st cranston, ri 02920. i'd like to run a few poems by you. i'm also working on a creative non-fictional piece... "i'm just a dumb teacher what do i know"... an untitled daily reader of meditations for men over fifty and a group of poems that swim through the clouds under the long but insistent title: nightmares, redundancies and other perfect dragons. god bless and take care.