The Matador of Metaphor

The grapefruit in the Florida orchard
has ripened into a globe in Hartford
for him to look at, not to eat.
If he had a tin can he would beat
it as a drummer in a band beats
his drum and steadily with a swish
and sometimes a gong. It’s his wish
to escape from gray walls and sky
into a Denmark of the inner eye
or a bullring south of the border
or a sky espied from the trenches
of a battlefield in Flanders. Wenches
wander into his wonderland. Order
is disorder squared. We are nowhere
else but here, yet live we do in metaphor
like that elegant square-shouldered matador.


Copyright © 2015 by David Lehman. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 30, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“I am completing a book I began back in 2002 called ‘Poems in the Manner of.’ ‘The Matador of Metaphor’ is from this manuscript. It is an homage to Wallace Stevens that appropriates certain of his techniques.”
David Lehman