Spring 2009 • Vol. XXXI No. 2 Poetry |

Devotion: Rent

I'd like the mannerists and the brutalists better if they began their ventures, rent due. I'd like the ironists and the sincere better too. And the white people and the new metaphysicians and the friends of the rain. So, rent due. Leaf drop. The last stoop sitting of the summer. The last of the new jack swing. The muted trumpet and the scalded maple are either absolutes or references. Who knows what music means? The rain begins in irony, ends in sincerity, a devotion to darkening, a policy of tiny, shining rivers. We expect a blues from the rain and get it, resistance and fulfillment, the rent come due. There's a deep wish I have to see the beautiful losers in the post season taking their futile swings—a kind of politics, a kind of blindness, a brain without estrogen. Whose bitch am I? Exorbitant, the rents. Unlivable. The sincere are forced to live in brutal elsewheres, to pay and pay. I contribute "as I am able" to child support. The boy on the subway asks in all sincerity, "Do

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece



Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.
Kenyon Review logo
Bruce Smith is the author of six books of poems, most recently Devotions, a finalist for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Awards, the L.A. Times Book Award, and the winner of the William Carlos Williams Prize.

Read More

Garden

By Bruce Smith

I'd like the mannerists and the brutalists better if they began their ventures, rent due. I'd like the ironists and the sincere better too. And the white people and the […]

Beautiful Throat

By Bruce Smith

I'd like the mannerists and the brutalists better if they began their ventures, rent due. I'd like the ironists and the sincere better too. And the white people and the […]

Subscribe

Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.

Donate

With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.