Rereading Stephen Crane

Back home, and down, down
in the yard, in the fog, reading
yet not reading, I hear
this train head west, hot
and fast for I don’t know where,
the dry whine fed only by the mood
of the sea, of the wind.

It hits me:
the miraculous, the absurd...

How is the eyed stranger met?
Any lesson learned and left off?

Once, those odd trademark capitals
lay like toy tracks slapped down
across a lost century.

_ The poem is an anagram of Stephen Crane’s “Forth went the candid man.”
The concluding stanza refers to Crane’s insistence, to the point of withdrawing
the book from publication, that The Black Riders and Other Poems be printed
entirely in capital letters.

Mike Smith | Mudlark No. 30
Contents | Ahem, Requiem