The Boat House: (after reading a biography of Dylan Thomas)

Before the ten oclock bar call;
before the bitter pints
lined up like lost years
along the knotted tabletop;
before the fist-thumping
and the story-telling
and the long ropes of snot
he wiped along one grimy thumb
like an aside;
there was the one beneficent hour
in the boathouse at Laugharne;
the two lines of Milk Wood
he would exhume each day
from the great white drifts
of foolscap curling beneath his shoes;
two lines a day,
two lines of shook foil
before the Guinness and the lust
turned lucidity into oblivion
and old Dylan tipped his ragged cap
to the darkness
that settled plumply around him
like a mistress. Two lines
are all he exacted from his brilliance;
twin victories that washed against
his querulous mind, soft as water,
tender as the waves that broke each morning
against the boat house door.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The latest from america

So what does it matter what a celibate woman thinks about contraception?
Helena BurnsJuly 20, 2018
Former US President Barack Obama gestures to the crowd, during an event in Kogelo, Kisumu, Kenya, Monday, July 16, 2018. (AP Photo Brian Inganga)
In Johannesburg, Obama gave what some commentators consider his most important speech since he vacated the Oval Office.
Anthony EganJuly 20, 2018
With his "Mass," Leonard Bernstein uses liturgy to give voice to political unease.
Kevin McCabeJuly 20, 2018
Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, arrives for the Jan. 6 installation Mass of Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
Women often “bring up the voice of those who are the most vulnerable in our society,” says Hans Zollner, S.J., who heads the Centre for Child Protection in Rome.