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Patricia Hartle

When Patricia Hartle Would Give Delmore Schwartz a Ride To His Old Farm Property in New Jersey, He Would Wander About In The Fields For Hours, Calling For A Lost Cat

When Patricia Hartle would give Delmore Schwartz a ride
to his old farm property in New Jersey,
he would wander about in the fields for hours,
calling for a lost cat named Riverrun,
after the first word of Finnegan's Wake.
Schwartz was a fan of Joyce, Schwartz was a scholar,
hidden in language, or content there,
his high, bright intelligence
candling ideas over his whitened mind
like a war factory once the war had ended.

The past is a field so full of errors,
he wanders agitating like a heart muscle.
Riverrun, he calls, part wet human air,
in a field so highly allergic, so raw with pollens,
the random ashes dust his forehead,
flourish him with weeds.
It is pretty to see from here,
a poet wandering in a field of yellows,
singing to the cat, who must be elsewhere.
An imagined animal must be loved,
safe and missing him, distracted in the shade.