Looking away

The machine by the lake pumps out dirty goods into the lake
Looking away was looking at an orange sunset above the lake
So the filth of our town was a machine-sound and not a smell.

A girl of half breasts looks down from a balcony ,at walking men
Looking away meant not thinking of Aldington’s girl of no breasts
With the blooming possibility that she was not a Helen of Sparta
But actually a whore that waited in the Oxford street in the night.*

Looking away was looking at scraps of half conversations
To catch a   whiff of talk that comes riding on the night air
With the fragrance of jasmines from  passing woman’s hair .
Looking away was not hearing a  whole of the conversation.

(* Daisy -A poem by Richard Aldington)


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