Results and Prospects Walter Bargen Poetry

local_library Results and Prospects

by Walter Bargen

Published in Issue No. 46 ~ March, 2001

Trotsky said, “The biggest surprise that comes
to a man is old age,” or something like that.
Leader of the October Revolution, he must’ve
known how they end, always one more body to add
to the heap.  Sooner or later, in a sidewalk café
in Trieste, sharing coffee and scones,
the early hours uneventful and lacking imagination,
the proletariat rush-to-work past, he would meet
with his bullet, or in New York City, a car
would swerve at a busy intersection, taking in
his whole body, dragging him a half a block
before speeding off, or at last at his house
in Coyoacán, ax-murdered by a Spanish Stalinist.
No accident of aim, the bloody flags flying.
Or was he saying that the old man sitting
on the lip of the plaza fountain, his face
wrinkled with light, battered fedora shading
his eyes, his clichéd poise, chin balanced
on top of both his hands cupped over a cane,
dozing to the water falling from concrete nymphs
and the cooing of pigeons in the Church of Guadalupe
bell tower, is the permanent revolution.

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Walter Bargen has published eight books of poetry. His most recent book, Harmonic Balance, will be published by Timberline Press in March 2001. He was the winner of the Chester H. Jones Foundation poetry prize in 1997.