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James Tate - Non-Stop

It seemed as if the enormous journey 
was finally approaching its conclusion.
From the window of the train
the last trees were dissipating,
a child-like sailor waved once,
a seal-like dog barked and died.
The conductor entered the lavatory 
and was not seen again, although 
his harmonica-playing was appreciated. 
He was not without talent, some said.
A botanist with whom I had become acquainted
actually suggested we form a group or something.
I was looking for a familiar signpost
in his face, or a landmark that would
indicate the true colors of his tribe.
But, alas, there was not a glass of water 
anywhere or even the remains of a trail. 
I got a bewildered expression of my own 
and slinked to the back of the car 
where a nun started to tickle me. 
She confided to me that it was her
cowboy pride that got her through . . .
Through what? I thought, but drew my hand
close to my imaginary vest.
"That's a beautiful vest," she said,
as I began crawling down the aisle.
At last, I pressed my face against 
the window: A little fog was licking
its chop, as was the stationmaster 
licking something. We didn't stop.
We didn't appear to be arriving,
and yet we were almost out of landscape.
No creeks or rivers. Nothing
even remotely reminding one of a mound.
O mound! Thou ain't around no more.
A heap of abstract geometrical symbols,
that's what it's coming to, I thought.
A nothing you could sink your teeth into.
"Relief's on the way," a little
know-nothing boy said to me.
"Imagine my surprise," I said
and reached out to muss his hair.
But he had no hair and it felt unlucky
touching his skull like that.
"Forget what I said," he said.
"What did you say?" I asked
in automatic compliance.
And then it got very dark and quiet.
I closed my eyes and dreamed of an emu I once loved.

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Added: Feb 7 2004 | Viewed: 7265 times | Comments and analysis of Non-Stop by James Tate Comments (1)

Non-Stop - Comments and Information

Poet: James Tate
Poem: Non-Stop
Poem of the Day: Feb 8 2001

Comment 1 of 1, added on April 23rd, 2012 at 11:58 PM.

To embassy of Germany!My name is Rajab Ali Andishmand: I am one of Afghan irtnevons with more than ten new inventions that the world’s people need them urgently‚ but unfortunately in Afghanistan isNot any site or location to register them and you know that no body knows about inventionsIn Afghanistan‚ and I want from Germany government to help me about‚ but ask me for once about my inventions that what they are‚ I wish answer my letter. Thanks, Inventors and thoughtful are depend to all of the world’s people

nano from Malta

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