Kleig Light and Moonlight

by Michael Graves 

In Memoriam Robert Mitchell

Brood by the window,
White haired poet,
In your downtown apartment
Over De Niro’s movie set,
Disturbed by the couple next door,
Who scream through the night,
And the barroom jukebox below.
Once, when a kleig light
Glared on your gloom,
You strode to the sink
And turned on the faucet
To fill a balloon.
“Let there be darkness,”
You yelled to the film crew,
As it shattered the kleig;
“God damn De Niro,
Your disturbing my peace.”

You told me the story
Over coffee and stew.
Then read from Thomas and Yeats
And Edna Millay. And finally,
Lines of your own:
“Desperate is beauty
For beauty dies,
And looking in your eyes…”
Peering like a search light
Into mine.

As I descended the stairs,
You followed to proffer a chocolate.

Outside, the full mild moon shone,
On your window and me.

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