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The Easy Philosopher


by Louis Daniel Brodsky

The Night Watchman

I let down the guard;
Cigarette smoke
Bombards my lungs.
I can do nothing to avert
The inevitable dispelling of dreams
They leave me to sweep away.
I am a speck of nighttime,
Carrying an everlasting sconce
Like some maddened Macbeth.
I travel feckless and bored
Down tenement corridors
Where no pilgrims stir.

I am no gallant chevalier
But Arthur,
The night watchman,
Dangling a ring of keys
That hold no secrets
Along their nubby spines.

I protect all but myself
From this screaming silence.

Use the player below to listen to Louis Daniel Brodsky read this poem.



Comprising forty-one of Brodsky’s earliest poems, The Easy Philosopher is a book of startlingly direct voices — that of a student, a young writer, a man lost in "fusions of word and world." Oblique symbolism, sexual and emotional tension, and natural imagery percolate to the surface of each page, bringing the author’s provocative psyche into the open, for the reader to penetrate "the darkness behind the eyes."

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