Not one prayer in their direction,
But we've always revered them, our guardians.
Stingy with gifts like all gods
But lavish in examples.
As fruitful for us to follow them
As for a metal worker in Greece
To keep in mind the sky forge,
For a bowman to [...]
Pensioners fondle the books in the sidewalk bins
For the big bargains, two for a dollar:
Eat Yourself Slim, Secret Missions of the Civil War,
Great Train Wrecks, Photographing Your Dog.
At home on their tables the books, never finished, pile up,
My mother's father missed out on Swami Muktananda.
He thought that the suits he pressed for 29 years
In the basement of Famous-Bar Department Store
Were real, real as his skill on the French horn,
As his pride in the marches he composed for the store [...]
One of these fine days all those who wronged you,
Having failed to forgive themselves, will return
And row ashore, a raggedy crew,
Like Homer's battered Greeks returning from war.
Up from the dock they'll stagger
With armloads of drenched gifts
To st [...]
Only a few stars are visible when I step outside
For a walk to the mailbox with my packet of poems.
In a week or two Mary will take time out
From preparing her class on Melville to read
This latest offering to the temple of fruitful pages.
She'll mar [...]
How much would it take for this city
That so far has belonged to others
To be yours as well,
The houses set in rows and each row named
So you can find the garden of your new acquaintance
Long before sundown, just as you promised,
And the talk has tim [...]
The way I admire this couch, unsuitable for my house,
In the window of Gardner's Antique Furniture
And brood on its curves and subtle carvings,
Would convince you, if you were here,
That I can be intimate now with the beautiful
On its own terms, with [...]