Tuesday, November 27, 2012


I visit so seldom I have trouble even entering my own blog and just entered three poems then wiped them out, apparently, trying to preview them. I'll do it once more. Hope Google doesn't keep changing its system!

Answering Reznikoff

Yes, I know it's true
the mower's no poet
who deflects his scythe
to save the flowers for
he knows they all are.
Yes, it was after years
somewhere else some other time
post-me/post mortem
when I read those lines — and yet
Reznikoff knew
about John Baker and I how we'd
manned a most improbable
aircraft observation station
in a vacant field
in a Maine town with nothing
anyone would bomb.
Where the only enemy planes
were on a wall poster
just a year before John even with
a metal plate in his hip
in the infantry lay open-eyed
having seen
his first German planes. I write
after long years but
there is no forgetting — although
long years may turn
forget to accept. Where planes
like meteorites 
flown by men like John and I
still fall 
from the innocent sky. Fall to earth
where all flowers die.

Inadequate Portent

Suddenly for no reason beyond
the molecular fire that burned
in my brain in that moment more
than sixty years ago I recall
the first time I saw even a picture
of what was called in earlier days
a woman's private parts on
the inside of a locker door
in our barracks in Fairbanks
facing me legs drawn back
spread knees up the lips of
that vertical mouth the names
of which I'd eventually learn
bare but not smiling in that
sudden patch of pubic hair
the school-yard expressions 
of pussy and muff-diving
not understood suddenly
having palpable substance
as the locker door slammed 
the whole affair no longer
than it takes to read a line
of this and I was twenty yet
I remember this sixty-seven
years later so it must have been
a hot little glucose brain-blaze
and I should have started then
to learn more not waited till now 
to know lips can show soft
curves that say I'll smile soon. 

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