by Louis Daniel Brodsky
Reveries deep as twisted history
Surface from oblique centuries,
Stream by my mystified eyes
As we rise from the green table
Spread in springtime ginghams and calicos.
Memories of other, earlier flights
Redeem forgotten dreams from nets,
Return the sepulchral brain from death
To a soul-searching worship
Of birth. The earth diminishes,
And as we turn out and away,
I see innumerable babies cradled
On smooth air, or cloudy resemblances
Of devastated spirits long gone
From the common onrush and increase.
I dream ghetto faces and physiques,
Tenement eyes, the saintly lives
Of inebriated priests and testy poets,
Contrite, condescending, mere skeletons,
Whispers of beings previously dismantled
Or in the process of fetal creation.
In this sphere, all possibilities
Are easily conceived. Each resolution,
Every verse, imaginable crime,
And martyrdom coexists in an ice floe
Moving through eternity’s two bluffs —
Congealed metaphors. They reach perfection
As fulgent stars, sun and moon mated,
Controlling the tides, cycles of lives.
I fly from birth to birth forever.
Brodsky composed the forty-one poems in Point of Americas II during the spring and summer of 1974. The first and last sections of the book detail his visits to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he and his wife "delight in being elements of an endless day," capturing the relaxed mind’s reflections on walking the beach, watching the sun set or storm clouds gather, and observing sunbathers, boaters, and the lush surroundings, all in contrast to the middle section’s study of Midwestern life as seen by a poet content to spend weekdays camouflaged as a plant manager and Sunday mornings surveying simple activities at home or around the town square.