Rodney Koeneke


Dear Theo,

The summer fattens at a most
Annoying rate-the interiors of cottages are livid
With sentiment, the figures that come in in the evenings,
Their aprons distended with flour, are lovelier
Than is proper in autumn, a season when the browns
Dust every gesture with a mixture of repentance
And come-hither devilry. I wish it to arrive

Before the 1st, as I can't defray
Expenses any longer
And I can't eat paint.

Though the new moon isn't quite over,
It has been wrestled and captured. I
Send you these to show you
How much labor
The miners look better
Suffering under

Our Father,
The ways that color
Subdues the light,
Divides it into solitudes

Has sent 10 francs. I have also on hand
A sunset, not up to the mark, perhaps
Of last year's, but sent for your approval

And how will I talk of the umbers?
They have cost me this month's ration
Of brandywine and toast.
Please send 10 francs. Or what you can-your own expenses

Are the sunsets
The fields charged with trees
And the one with the peasants
Coming in from the fields
Russet and laughing

Sometimes too much alone.
Should you pursue your plan, I know
A barn adjacent to here

Could talk, could criticize

The servitude, of course, is voluntary
Has its own earthy dignity
Which, from a sense of duty and not
Of happiness, I urge most strongly

With a handshake in mind
And a pinch for the infant

Vincent v. G.