Autumn Sky Poetry - Number 4

The Worst of One's Bewilderment

Standing lamp, small faded shade - with painted
roosters - red and green - cavorting ‘round
the cone of it: as if to mark the zone of it
as theirs - that is, to offset the considerable airs
of my stuffed monkey jester, slinky bounder clad

and hatted in sleek velvet - midnight blue and dark
cerise - whose malleable limbs cling to the frieze
of metal loops - from one of which additionally swings
a stylishly be-glittered cardboard turquoise
peacock - loops and boughs that fix the lampshade

and its bulb onto a slender trunk of pole that shoots
down to the floor: a scaffolding that dates back
to whenever my step-grandmother obtained it - 1944,
I'll guess - although my monkey and my peacock
timelessly and tirelessly refresh it every day - in their way.

I cannot understand - much less affect - one speck
of motive in the dimmest being in the sentient Universe
but I create assemblages like these to make
me think I've got some sway. Roosters, monkeys,
peacocks keep the worst of one's bewilderment at bay.



Guy Kettelhack

Guy Kettelhack has authored, co-authored, or contributed to more than 30 nonfiction books. His poems have been featured in many online and some print journals. Books 1 and 2 of Soho Poems & Drawings About Drawings (collaboration with Norman Shapiro) can be found at He lives in New York City.


© 2006 Guy Kettelhack