Home > Poetry > Raw November Afternoon
Published: Thu Apr 15 1999
Diego Isaias Hernández Méndez, Convertiendse en Characoteles / Sorcerers Changing into Their Animal Forms (detail), 2013, oil on canvas. Arte Maya Tz’utujil Collection.
Raw November Afternoon

The room darkens.
Light the light.
It’s 3 p.m., unshaven
I sit reading.
Twenty years ago
I’d get myself
out of the house
to Cambridge afternoons
into the dinner hour.
Imagine listening to men,
professors naturally,
debate the greatest
novel, Anna Karenina
vs. I forget what
tome of Dostoyevsky’s.
For tender stomachs
scotch and milk.
For others beers,
a lash of this or
that to raise the
ante, lift some dumb
argument about what
really matters
into really mattering.
What a waste!
I regret it all,
every hour blown
in talk, the money
spent, my passionate
stupidities, the . . .
but could I have
arrived here from
anywhere else but there?

See what's inside AGNI 49

William Corbett (1942–2018) was an American poet, essayist, editor, and publisher. He served as a contributing editor of AGNI for many years.

Corbett’s New & Selected Poems was reviewed in AGNI 43 by Michael Palmer.

Corbett’s memoir Furthering My Education was reviewed in AGNI 46 by Jeff Galbraith.

Corbett’s New York Literary Lights was reviewed in AGNI 48 by Jim Behrle.

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