When Down by Long Boy's Lane Liam Rector Poetry

local_library When Down by Long Boy’s Lane

by Liam Rector

Published in Issue No. 14 ~ July, 1998

A visionary bowler,
gone down by Long Boy’s Lane,
a casually bitter stroller,
a roller with the strain,

went dancing dark through night-town
(suggesting day was done),
fell flat onto the sidewalk
hardly lost but barely won.

The night was to the bowler
as pig is to the ham –
the inside/out of bowler,
the darkness in his hand.

The bowler wanted sky-town;
he stepped into the bars.
He felt the night crawl into him
and dreamt the dreaming stars.

The bowler thought of lovely hair,
of hair in which he cried.
His eyes could see the perfect air –
that air that moves the sky.

The bowler’s drunken sun-up,
the sky with perfect rain –
the bowler grips his planet,
this bowler’s earthly lane.

If gods sing to the bowler,
they toast a bitter cup.
When he is looking down from stars
they tell him to look up.

The moonlight, often striking,
as down by Long Boy’s Lane,
the bowler drinks the morning
with vision, and in rain.

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Liam Rector is the 1998 recipient of the Pen/ New England Award. His first book of poems was The Sorrow of Architecture, and he was editor of The Day I Was Older: On the Poetry of Donald Hall. He has received fellowships in poetry from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and he has administered literary programs at the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Academy of American Poets, Associated Writing Programs, and elsewhere. He has taught at Goucher College, George Mason University, and Phillips Academy and is currently the Director of the Writing Seminars at Bennington College. He took graduate degrees from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He now resides in Massachusetts.