David Wagoner, born 1926, American
Ready to leave for work, I look around
Living Room, 1948, watercolour. Andy Warhol, 1928-1987, American.
The living room of the artist’s natal home in Pittsburgh, PA.
Collection of the Paul Warhola family on loan to the Whitney Museum in 2018/19
To check windows and switches: in the sink,
Still Life with City Hall Tower (Philadelphia), 1981, hand-coloured etching. Elizabeth Osborne, born 1936, American. Woodmere Museum, Philadelphia
Cactus, 1931, oil on canvas. Charles Sheeler, 1883-1965, American. Philadelphia Museum of Art
A pool of coffee poured from the last cup
Gleams near the drain; the ring in the bath
A bath in West Shokan, Ashokan Catskills, NY; with loving thanks
At its own level holds my body up;
And crumpled on the bed, blankets like sheep
A bed in West Shokan, Ashokan Catskills, NY; with loving thanks
Crouch where the ram came, reeling, from his dip.
Not a ram but a goat and suckling kid; hard paste porcelain, c. 1772, Johann Joachim Kandler, 1706-1775, German. Meissen Manufactory, Germany. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
So many rituals: two cups for the gods
Porcelain mugs made in the eastern US between 1995 and 2015
Of the left and right temple, the grounds gone
To the right and left statues of Amenhotep III; c.1390 BCE; porphyritic diorite. Originally in Thebes and now at the Metropolitan Museum, New York
Where all libations go; on porcelain,
Porcelain cups and vases made by the British ceramicist, Edmund de Waal. Unknown date.
My yesterday in an upright, shrinking lather;
Dial down and ticking under the pillow-slip,
Unknown provenance from an exhibition of furniture, MOMA, NY I don’t recall when
Two sheets to the wind hauled back from sleep-
The Crossing, c. 1911, oil on canvas. A portrait of Ida Rubinstein by Romaine Brooks, 1874-1970. Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, DC
Customers preparing for sleep on a train from Ahmedabad to Jaipur, India. 2010
I leave these for the maker of light whose rain
On the alarming morning fell again.
Rain on Philadelphia rooftops. 2008
Crossing Market Street, Philadelphia on its east side.
The Delaware River a few blocks behind, the City Hall in front at the crossroads of Market and Broad. A much-loved city.
On the way to work on a day of rain. Nobody bats an eyelid because I am standing in the middle of Market Street taking photographs.
So familiar a journey. So many years: most of them alarming or wearying.
But time passes and all things pass also.