Broken Nights

Michael Hofmann

Then morning comes,
saying: ‘This was a night.’

Robert Lowell

Broken knights.
– No, not like that.
Well, no matter.
Something agreeably
Tennysonian (is there
Any other kind?)
About ‘broken knights’.
Sir Bors and Sir Bedivere.
In my one-piece pyjamas –
My it doesn’t matter suit,
With necessarily non-matching
– Matchless, makeless, makeles
Added top, I pad
Downstairs to look
At the green time
On the digital microwave.
My watch, you must know,
Died on my watch
All at the top, at midnight,
After a few
Anguished weeks of macro-
biotic stakhanovite
Five-second ticks,
And I haven’t, it
Seems, had time
To get it repaired.
Further [weewee hours],
To patronise
My #2 bathroom en bas
(Though NB
Only for a pee).
Groping for a piss,
As the poet saith.
Wondering how soon
It might be safe
To turn on the wireless,
Without it being either
New Age
Help you through the night
Seducer mellotrons
(What’s a tron, mellow I can do?)
Or merely
Dependency inducing
And wehrzersetzend,
Deleterious for morale of the troops.
I eat to the beat,
Then snooze to the news.
Drift off to Morning Edition.
Arise/Decline, Sir
Baa Bedwards.