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Ketih Althaus

Rival Heavens published by Provinceown Arts Press (1993, reissue 1999). Recieved grants from National Endowment, and Mass. Council on the Arts.Fellowship at Fine Arts Work Center 1969-71.Published poetry in American Poetry Review; Poetry; The New Yorker; Harper’s; The Yale Review: Grand Street; etc. Lives in North Truro MA


The View

 Climbing the stairs to my room; at the top of the landing the light through the dormer window makes a familiar diamond on the floor, but when I go over and look out instead of the usual view of backyards and fences, there is a wide, calm river flow [...]


When no animals lean out of the night sky and the streets are littered with the blackened stars and flames of leaves, in dead water I walk the calendar's last arc. Then halos crown old cars and toys left out in the rain shine like new on paths betwee [...]

Black Leaves

How far you can see into the woods in early spring before anything blooms but after the snow that weighed down limbs and bushes is gone. And so much light gets through because only a few tough leaves hang from the trees like bats, and way back you s [...]

On This Side

On this side there are forests, white in winter, that turn in spring a perishing green; water that circles, on its cloud-rain-sea cycle tears are a step. So are the lakes that remember and forget the sky all day. There is the slow speed of atoms in w [...]

In Matera

In Matera, where the darkness rose from the sockets of caves under the city, like a town in Pennsylvania where the coal fires burn miles down, year after year, unquenchable, I dreamed again of you, so seldom in all this time, and not even you, but a [...]

Unfinished Poems

Is it sweat grown sweet from age that draws you back to undo this stack of dog-eared yellow sheets, or some other message seen in the stains of coffee cups, glasses, even burns that give off faint smoke like talk that lingers in the hair, the clothes [...]

The Impossible Bouquet

Late at night they appear together, the friends of different eras, who never knew each other, only you, but tonight because a wall's collapsed, from age perhaps, or simply tiredness, they can have a conversation, or appear for once in the same pictur [...]

Piero Manzoni

A doorway, or huddled in one, dark, recessed, where passers-by glance furtively, afraid of the hoarse request, the threat, or temptation off the road that leads directly home, away from that country whose flag is a rag to muffle bloody coughs, and th [...]


It's late, after dark when I pull off the interstate at an unfamiliar exit and have to drive for miles to find anything open, then an old supermarket, from the fifties, dingy and small, and the people pale and poorly dressed, coming straight [...]

South Wing

Behind the fretted Network of a wrought- Iron grille, you Stood untouched by The holiday lights Strung haphazard in Admissions, a ticked Synaptic flicker, First in amethyst, Then in flame. Convalescent, blood- Shot, unreachable, You watched the Frea [...]