The Corner




The moonlight rouses me at half past three,

piercing through thick curtains I had drawn,

but for this gap. My heavy-lidded eyes

return the glare. What’s this bald rock to me

but glassy basalt leering from the skies

indecently before the wholesome dawn


can chase it off? I know the facts: We need

the moon to stop earth wobbling on its axis,

thus regulating temperature; besides,

it tells the sea’s invertebrates to breed.

But I’m evolved; immune to lunar tides,

and have no love for any fool who waxes


nostalgic when he drinks light second-hand,

and uses this excuse for acting strange.

I rambled through the streets at night in June.

Now it’s too cold to climb a fence and stand

beneath a balcony, begging for a spoon

of wild honey, pleading for small change.


My life has waned beyond that phase; it’s cast

into the iron calendar I keep

to pay my bills — the lasting consequences

of midnight walks in my moonstricken past.

It’s someone else’s turn to lose his senses.

The clock stays set for five. It’s time to sleep.


—Stephen Scaer

This poem appears in the May 29 print issue of NR.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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