words have been used up
chewed up like gum
by lovely young mouths
have been turned into white
for Robert Creeley (1926-2005)
What you won't see today:
juniper's tough skein.
Sunlight and plant light
glass and stain
the campaign the conflict
the dead frozen in air
the sun and the sweat
the swell of fetid flesh
My grandfather and I, with Riley the horse,
took four days to hay the acres of grass
from the fields on both sides of the house.
After Riley pulled the mowing machine
Hart Crane, one of America's greatest poets, relished the extremes that eventually destroyed him.
Two red drinks--pure alcohol, with a maraschino cherry--in
the bar next door, deep in the afternoon. While I hide in my
The scowl is caught in jadeite.
The flattened face on a green bead
displayed in the orchestral light of the museum
also boards the train on Steinway Street.
In the morning we put on our sharp blue suits and
go to hear the delegates speak through broken teeth.
These are the women whose names the press must be
Yes, indeed, that is my house that I am carrying around
on my back like a bullet-proof shell and yes, that sure is
my little dog walking a hard road in hard boots. And
Eleanor Lerman's poems sing a song that is bravely gloomy, but they sing it with a fierce and earned dignity.