Résumé of a Scrapegoat

Comb-bound: 103 pp.
Published: 2001

Price: $9.95

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Describing himself as midway through his "poet’s journey," Brodsky reaches deep into his heritage, in this volume of forty-seven chronologically arranged poems, aligning himself "with tillers of the tribe of Abraham" as he makes his way, alone, "toward the frontiers of verse," still knowing that "the Holy Land is just out of sight."



In a Daze

The highway he drives from mid-state
Passes rapidly beneath his vehicle,
Reappears briefly, in numbing retrograde,
Within the rearview mirror's edges,
Into whose glassy depths he habitually gazes.

Partial sky, wavering medians,
The blank, bony backs of road signs,
Cement extruded like a taut chalk line
Marking the exact two-lane track
That parallels its westbound running mate

All surface at a glance and persist
Like pinpricks sticking his limited vision.
In the mirror, shimmering tractor-trailers
Are groupers fluting through a murky ocean;
Cars darting and weaving are schools of tarpon

Migrating from one oblique vacuum to the next.
Occasionally, he gets to measure his relative speed
Against others overtaking and capturing
His elusory shadow on their right front door.
Only then is he totally reassured

That his own motion is not a continuous moment
In an endless, isolated time warp,
Rather a flight whose destination
Bears some relation to that of cars
Ahead and behind, inexorably exiting from sight.



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