Just Beyond Reason

Poems by Patrick Brancaccio

For Ruth

  Ezra Pound

They understood him as obsessed
with the money he never earned
with neglected prophets
who held the key
Provincial Cosmopolitan
Saver of the Constitution
who lost his humanity
In search of civilization
who went mad with the world
around him to be
a reporter on the scene
who took the pieces of his
disintegration and flung them
in the faces of the countrymen
They put him in a wire cage
spot-welded to keep out
the fascists and left him
in the blinding sun
north of Pisa a Bible
and Confucius for pillows.
Later they relented with a piece
of tarpaper for roofing a pup
tent, and then in the Medical
Center a typewriter on which
late at night he punched out
the Cantos and letters
for the condemned.
They gave him a prize
A tribute for from his friends:
to poetry
to secure themselves
"above politics"
to help him out.
Like the poetry.