Mudlark No. 58 (2015)

“Robert Plant Holding a Dove that Flew into His Hands, Circa 1973”

          —photograph from the concert at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco: June 2, 1973
The wing-flutter resolves like a breath of fog
by San Francisco Bay. Like sand or white sails.
This year, every snapshot of Robert Plant onstage
describes the outline and contour of his cock
through jeans. This is that. But the heart inside 
the successful crooner is what it is: Frank Sinatra 
with a smidgen of Elvis tossed in for good measure:

Shelley’ Adonais resurrected with a mane of hair 
and management, a record deal and Jimmy Page.
Now the fingers tipped with nicotine gesture 
to the starveling crowd about to feast—
the hand dealing with both a lit Marlboro
and a bottle of English beer. Which is when
the rock dove lands on the other hand. Settles

like news of the death of Keats settled on Shelley.
This congregation still wants directions to Paradise
if not ushered to the stairs. Taught the shibboleth 
for entry. What it gets is the flight of the dove,
impromptu cooing, the talons ringing fingers 
as if what we call beautiful is straightening 
the curve of its spine and starting to sing.

Roy Bentley | Famous Blue Raincoat
Contents | Mudlark No. 58 (2015)