Aesthetic Realism Looks at New York City: Poetry


Martha Baird


When The Gas Burner Lights

I turn the handle on the gas stove
And the burner lights up.
This means
My pilot light is working,
And New York City is functioning.
There is gas in the pipes,
And Consolidated Edison, for all its wickedness,
      has not collapsed.
The burner lights because there is,
Between my desire and the infinite world,
A connection:
A visible, tangible, orderly


From Nice Deity (New York: Definition Press, 1955)