Frank Bidart


Self-Portrait, 1969

He's still young--; thirty, but looks younger--
or does he?... In the eyes and cheeks, tonight,
turning in the mirror, he saw his mother,--
puffy; angry; bewildered... Many nights,
now, when he stares there, he gets angry:--
something unfulfilled there, something dead
to what he once thought he surely could be--
Now, just the glamour of habits...
Once, instead,
he thought insight would remake him, he'd reach
--what? The thrill, the exhilaration
unravelling disaster, that seemed to teach
necessary knowledge... became just jargon.

Sick of being decent, he craves another
crash. What reaches him except disaster?
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