In the waiting room this black woman maybe fifty sits
right beside me. Whisky breath; pocked face.
She looks over my shoulder at my notebook
where I've been writing about Bjorn Borg in a poem
whose point is that I should never cease
I give you the rain-washed streets of a medieval city
filled with pious folk on their way to evensong,
the bells ringing and the rooks wheeling
above the elms that line the cathedral square;
the pearly sky with salmon streaks in the west
is lit from [...]
Grief will come very naturally to you, into your living.
It's how your life is not a movie, the way right timing
and the firm edges of drama will not body forth
your grief like a spotlit Lear at center-stage;
the way it will come ten minutes or a ye [...]
I wrote this fine glossy poem about how the true beloved is always ineffable, the one at the palace window when the purple light of storm astounds the forest, the one whose touch is the breeze of April, the one with breasts of pearl swaying urgent [...]
So you're back exactly where you sat eleven months ago with the same itchy fatigue around your eyes. The coffee is slightly less good than it was then. The sunlight is as boldly uninstructive. Death of a friend's father this week. Painful inflammat [...]
Here it comes, here it is, already in progress, the drama:
the drama in which the two-legged hero goes striding stridingly across the littered town or the blue-carpeted library toward a cool-hipped honor-bright bell-toned synthesis [...]
Woman in last night's dream wearing a pink sweater
Her laugh is gentle and original
I don't know her unless I knew her 20 years ago
Call her Molly or Karen
She has a friend named Edgar, he is lanky
with eccentric hair, old clothes and bright yellow [...]
It is 2:45 a. m. I can't sleep. This apartment is too noisy.
It's totally quiet. It's filled with the noise of the past.
How does anyone sleep after the age of 35? Things
gather in your apartment and they stay, you bring them
to the next apartment a [...]
He thinks I'm pretty good—a lot of the time. . . .
But he has reservations. Something about my "looseness,"
something about "a tang of narcissism" . . . And he is
my friend! My trusted friend. I mean he and I go back,
we've had 30 or 40 lu [...]
About time I will in 1998 say things inadequate
under a compulsion to face my enemy,
to look my destroyer in the eye—time
will evade whatever I say by the sly simple strategy of
never stopping. It was in 1992 that I wrote
these lines. In my kitche [...]
Whether or not they moved into a blue clapboard duplex
in their mid-thirties, Ted and Tina—
clapboard?—bringing three bicycles
and the case of Bordeaux given them years before
by Uncle James who said as if he knew what was to come
"This will refi [...]
You want to tell me how it seemed
the day you fell in love at the Blue Parrot
and the night in Washington Square when you felt
a weird hitherto undescribed floating absence of love
and how much it hurt that day on Waterman Street across from Faunce H [...]
Here is my plan. Of me for me. It has eight points.
How life (mine) will get better and be good. And have
a clearness; like sharp light of a sunny autumn day.
Step by step, point by point, here it is. 1. Read
a novel by Kundera. From it get some pers [...]
My son Nicholas two years and two months old
wearing a purple sweatshirt that once belonged to Hannah
not quite awake yet from his nap,
leaning his head on my shoulder while we listen to Dylan singing "Most of the Time" and I slow-dance arou [...]
In the spring night another man
is walking past my darling.
He is one inch taller than me
and he calls out softly Hey there.
She looks. In the May night
with the trees blossoming
the eyes of the unknown man
meet the eyes of my darling.
She feels a sa [...]