Home > Poetry > Ronald Beaver’s Life in England
Published: Mon Apr 15 2002
Eva Lundsager, Were now like (detail), 2021, oil on canvas
Ronald Beaver’s Life in England

Here drifted
An hedonist.

       —Ezra Pound

Life in England for Ronald Beaver.
Old city house in England with dog
For Ronald Beaver. Job in publishing

And old fart day spent in park beavering.
Gone in gum for Ronald, sweater boy.
Wife gone, beans straight out of can,

T. S. Eliot and Byron’s “So We’ll Go
No More a Roving” keep Ronald’s mind
Nimble so Ronald can remember go pee

In all of England, in most of Tennessee.
Ronald Beaver move on boy to your last
Days now, put off nurse home, and raise

Your left leg and really blast one,
Merry olde Ronald. All gone to shit now,
As Ronald knew would, gone to

Hardly-remember way down under the sea.
No big deal for you Ronald, you Beaver,
You so much like Bette Davis now Ronald

And no sissy, she. Ronald lean back and let
What’s left of mind go to music, starting with
The empty report a gun makes when shot

Over sea. Rapport, Ronald, rapport. Only music
Can give it to you now. You’re balled-up,
You’re frightened, you half-way through the door.

Remember: Hedonism comes from the Greek
Hedone, which means dog-like, and stay true
To the dog in you Ronald, because the dog is true.

It’s a big piss in a big sea, it’s a real pisser
To have to go out but it’s true, and now Ronald,
Our Ronald, O Ronald, O England—go pee.

See what's inside AGNI 55

Liam Rector recently published a new book of poems, The Executive Director of the Fallen World, through the University of Chicago Press. This winter the University of Michigan Press will publish On the Poetry of Frank Bidart: Fastening the Voice to the Page, which he co-edited with Tree Swenson. He directs the graduate Writing Seminars at Bennington College and lives in New York City. (updated 10/2006)

Rector’s book American Prodigal was reviewed in AGNI 41 by Erin Belieu.

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