Robert Lowell shops at Sears
by Sean Lause
Fans with streamers tranquilize the air.
Toasters whisper to washing machines
and ovens open wide, longing to devour
Robert Lowell as he ventures into Sears,
glasses blooming with florescent angels.
The store hums with a vast production,
a hydrogen Levittown, like weapons on display.
He pays, lifts his future over his head.
Longing for a stopwatch for his fear,
Robert Lowell goes wading into time.
Tate wrote: “My house is full of profs and poets.
You’d have to pitch a tent.” He was kidding.
Lowell is not kidding. He has come to pitch
a Sears Roebuck Nashville Special on Tate’s lawn,
so he may be somewhere anywhere home.
He memorizes the directions, then
improvises, and only with the last
driven stake do his fingers stop shaking.
Here he will act his pen and penance
for a past that haunts him like a hungry grave.
He will make a sound space here, no heir
or ancestor to thunder No. The stars
will bless him, the apples feed him, and
Sears Roebuck keep a craft within him,
even when madness creeps through the grass.