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Author: HUDGINS, ANDREW
Matches Found: 286


Hudgins, Andrew    Poet's Biography
286 poems available by this author


A FATHER ON THE MARSH       
First Line: My older boy said, 'let's make soup'
Subject(s): Fathers


ADORATION OF THE MAGI       
First Line: A boy -- okay,it's me -- wears a fringed
Last Line: One hand pressed hard into his crotch
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion


AFTER MUSCLING THROUGH SHARP GREENERY       
First Line: After muscling through sharp greenery and after
Last Line: Azaleas red as every word that jesus uttered


AFTER THE WILDERNESS    Poem Text    
First Line: When clifford wasnít back to camp by nine
Last Line: Heíd wet his pants. We called it yankee tea
Subject(s): Wilderness Campaign (1864)


AFTER THE WILDERNESS       
First Line: When clifford wasn't back to camp by nine


AFTERIMAGE OF A GHOST       
First Line: I woke and saw beyond my feet
Last Line: Into his otherness, and gape %in ghostly, futile trespass


AGAINST GARDENS       
First Line: At first, in spring, it hurts to kill


AIR       
First Line: Because I'd seen a man thrust his


AIR VIEW OF AN INDUSTRIAL SCENE    Poem Text    
First Line: There is a train at the ramp, unloading people
Subject(s): Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945); Jews; World War Ii; Shoah; Judaism; Second World War


AIR VIEW OF AN INDUSTRIAL SCENE       
First Line: There is a train at the ramp, unloading people
Last Line: We're watchers. But if we had bombs we'd drop them
Subject(s): Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945); Jews; World War Ii


AIRPORT BOULEVARD       
First Line: Driving home past the dives on airport boulevard
Last Line: To give as presents and he stored it in a covered jar


ALL OF US BENEATH RED COWBOY HATS    Poem Text    
First Line: Between his smaller brothers, he
Last Line: That child. I'm trying to forgive him
Subject(s): Brothers & Sisters; Photography & Photographers


ALL OF US BENEATH RED COWBOY HATS       
First Line: Between his smaller brothers, he


ALMOST IN LOVE       
First Line: All night my neighbor's windchimes keep me up


AMEN       
First Line: This story begins amen


APPETITE FOR POISON       
First Line: We men in lodgings, after supper


AROUND THE CAMPFIRE       
First Line: Around the campfire we sang hymns


AS A CHILD IN THE TEMPLE    Poem Text    
First Line: I'm looking forward to my death,' she said
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Theology


AS A CHILD IN THE TEMPLE       
First Line: I'm looking forward to my death,' she said
Last Line: Saved, not for the last time, by my ignorance
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion


ASHES (1)       
First Line: Bill gripped the can in both hands and dashed it upward
Last Line: And breathed it in and breathed it out and breathed it in


ASHES (2)       
First Line: My left hand joggled johnny's arm, and johnny - jesus!
Last Line: And should be honored as the dust they are


AT CAMP    Poem Text    
First Line: Everyone says the deep woods are soothing
Last Line: Howling for howling, the best kind of howl
Subject(s): Camping; Camps; Summer Camps


AT CHANCELLORSVILLE: THE BATTLE OF THE WILDERNESS    Poem Text    
First Line: He was an indiana corporal
Subject(s): Chancellorsville, Battle Of (1863); Wilderness Campaign (1864)


AT CHANCELLORSVILLE: THE BATTLE OF THE WILDERNESS       
First Line: He was an indiana corporal
Last Line: We could have passed for new york infantry
Subject(s): Chancellorsville, Battle Of (1863); Wilderness Campaign (1864)


AT THE KYMULGA GRIST MILL       
First Line: The dog runs off to check each breeze


AUDUBON EXAMINES A BITTERN    Poem Text    
First Line: A lady brought me a least bittern
Last Line: Bedamned if I know what to make of it
Subject(s): Birds


AUDUBON EXAMINES A BITTERN       
First Line: A lady brought me a least bittern


AWAITING WINTER VISITORS: JONATHAN EDWARDS, 1749       
First Line: When thunder fell in tinsley's pasture


BABYLON IN A JAR       
First Line: Driving home past the beer joints on airport boulevard
Last Line: To give as presents, and he stored it in a jar


BALL       
First Line: Nose down, the %courses the back yard, searching
Last Line: With the exacting genius of her joy


BEANS       
First Line: Mom said I was so dirty I could probably grow
Last Line: I won't crush the beans I'm planning to pluck


BEGOTTEN       
First Line: I've never, as some children do
Last Line: I stared at my blood-kin, and thought, %'so this, dear god, is what I am.'


BEHEMOTH AND LEVIATHAN       
First Line: Can you draw out leviathan %with a fishhook?' yahweh sneers
Last Line: Behermoth and leviathan, %and chaos at the margin


BENEATH SEARCHLIGHTS    Poem Text    
First Line: Shop windows glow like fish tanks. Even in twon
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Theology


BENEATH SEARCHLIGHTS       
First Line: Shop windows glow like fish tanks. Even in twon
Last Line: But that's untrue. Too stark. Sometimes - tonight!- %I satisfy the light that questions me
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion


BENEATH THE APPLE       
First Line: The house a-tilt with laughter, jazz
Last Line: That moment: dead. Divine


BEYOND MY FOOTFALL        Recitation by Author


BIFF BURGER       
First Line: I jerked the cokes. At fourteen, it
Last Line: Against the wall. First job: the sense %of being airborne violently


BLEMISHES       
First Line: Head tilted back in mom's lap
Last Line: And dropped the cool rag on my face


BLOWFLY    Poem Text    
First Line: Half awake, I was imagining
Last Line: As we made tense, pensive love. Blowfly, blowfly
Subject(s): Desire; Imagination; Fancy


BLUE DANUBE       
First Line: As we clung to the corner and catcalled
Last Line: Smiled tightly: 'you boys! Let's see what you have learned.'


BLUE TREE       
First Line: A color-wheel lit tinsel branches red
Last Line: And the yellow melted. We took the tree apart, %and boxed it. Blue meant the damn thing wouldn't die


BLUR    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: Storms of perfume lift from honeysuckle,
Last Line: And more than understanding I longed for joy
Subject(s): Childhood Memories


BODIES OF WATER       
First Line: My shoulder twinges where
Last Line: My familiar, unfamiliar hand


BOG OF THE FATHERS       
First Line: In northern germany the bogs dispense


BOTTLE TREE       
First Line: Shards of pink depression glass swayed
Last Line: Beyond the confines of our longing


BRIGHT LEAF       
First Line: Some memories I've re-formed from photographs
Last Line: Have never known and don't expect to know, %but pleasure, which, with that leaf, I started learning


BURIAL DETAIL    Poem Text    
First Line: Between each layer of tattered, broken flesh
Subject(s): Graves; Tombs; Tombstones


BURIAL DETAIL       
First Line: Between each layer of tattered, broken flesh
Subject(s): Graves


BURIAL INSURANCE    Poem Text    
First Line: It came each month from omaha
Last Line: Grandmomma took her picture off the wall
Subject(s): Brothers & Sisters; Death; Books & Reading; Dead, The


BURIAL INSURANCE       
First Line: It came each month from omaha
Last Line: Andrea. Each time we visited, %grandmomma took her picture off the wall


CADILLAC IN THE ATTIC       
First Line: After the tenant moved out, died, disappeared
Last Line: And three hard chicks: the cadillac in the attic


CASTRATING BULLS WITH MY GRANDPA       
First Line: The tail, held back along the spine, keeps them


CATCHING BREATH       
First Line: In: pink and salmon %maples bright with dying
Last Line: The world's breath back into us. %in: %out. Out: %in


CATTAILS       
First Line: A stand of cattails, brown heads %erupting seed
Last Line: The names now never stop, nor the naming


CESTELLO ANNUNCIATION       
First Line: The angel has already said, 'be not afraid'
Last Line: Lets her refuse, accept, refuse, and think again
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion


CHILD ON THE MARSH    Poem Text    
First Line: I worked the riverís slick banks, grabbling
Last Line: And heard the earthís voice under me
Subject(s): Family Life; Relatives


CHILD ON THE MARSH       
First Line: I worked the river's slick banks, grappling


CHILDHOOD OF THE ANCIENTS       
First Line: Hard? You don't know what hard is, boy!
Last Line: Hot food plopped down in front of you like magic. %you've never even seen a hog cut up


CHINABERRY       
First Line: I couldn't stand still watching them forever
Last Line: The green, abandoned tree


CHINABERRY TREES       
First Line: Under the flowering chinaberry
Last Line: And open ourselves to opening %under the chinaberry


CHOICE THE DRIVER MAKES       
First Line: Their headlights slash across my face and chest


CHRIST AS A GARDENER    Poem Text    
First Line: The boxwoods planted in the park spelled live
Subject(s): Christianity; Gardens & Gardening; Jesus Christ; Religion; Theology


CHRIST AS A GARDENER       
First Line: The boxwoods planted in the park spelled live
Last Line: Of milkweed, thistle, cattail, and goldenrod
Subject(s): Christianity; Gardens And Gardening; Jesus Christ; Religion


CHRISTIAN ON THE MARSH       
First Line: In may, I can't see dogwood bloom


CIRCUS IN THE TREES       
First Line: I love to watch the gray squirrels leap
Last Line: Cascading down as sparks
Subject(s): Squirrels; Trees


CLAIMS       
First Line: It's boys who find the bodies in the woods


CLOUDS       
First Line: I like to lie out in the yard
Last Line: And there's one like a deer!


COINS AND ASHES       
First Line: We need two hundred bucks! Mom screamed
Last Line: But I swallowed them all


COLONEL    Poem Text    
First Line: My father lifts the crippled airman's body
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Theology


COLONEL       
First Line: My father lifts the crippled airman's body
Last Line: And I don't want to be a soldier yet
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion


COME TO HARM    Poem Text    
First Line: We were driving from one state to another,
Last Line: There will be laughter
Subject(s): Death - Mothers; Dead, The


COMMUNION IN THE ASYLUM       
First Line: We kneel. Some of us kneel better than others
Last Line: But we all await the grace that's promised us


COMPOST: AN ODE    Poem Text    
First Line: The beauty of the compost heap is not
Subject(s): Fertilizer


COMPOST: AN ODE       
First Line: The beauty of the compost heap is not
Subject(s): Fertilizer


CONSIDER    Poem Text    
First Line: You have considered the lilies of the field
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Theology


CONSIDER       
First Line: You have considered the lilies of the field
Last Line: Beckons the hollow, two-note fluting of an owl
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion


CORN SNAKE       
First Line: After fishing all morning - not a bite, not one


COUSIN MARBURY'S MARVELOUS BOMBS       
First Line: We stuff the tennis balls with cups
Last Line: We'll hear the booms %as loud as vietnam's


CRUCIFIXION: MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA    Poem Text    
First Line: In the hot dark they dug a hole
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Theology


CRUCIFIXION: MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA       
First Line: In the hot dark they dug a hole
Last Line: Or does god simply choose us all?
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion


CULT OF THE LOST CAUSE       
First Line: Dear clifford - caballero, brother


DAFFODILS ERUPT IN CLUMPS       
Last Line: My mother was so beautiful


DAY JOB AND NIGHT JOB    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: After my night job, I sat in class
Last Line: Lt looked the same. Like work
Subject(s): Labor & Laborers; Work; Workers


DEAD CHRIST    Poem Text    
First Line: There seems no reason he should've died. His hands
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Theology


DEAD CHRIST       
First Line: There seems no reason he should've died. His hands
Last Line: Today, the empty corpse. Most christs return. %but this one's flesh. He isn't coming back
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion


DOG PILE       
First Line: Somebody'd yell, 'dog pile on andrew!' I'd drop
Last Line: Dog pile on hudgins!' first, everybody froze, %and then my brother started running


DRAGONFLY    Poem Text    
First Line: Book says 'most predacious.' book says 'fastest
Subject(s): Dragonflies


DRAGONFLY       
First Line: Book says 'most predacious.' book says 'fastest
Last Line: Stillness at great speed) %beside still water
Subject(s): Dragonflies


DYING       
First Line: The pistol underneath my head


ECCE HOMO    Poem Text    
First Line: Christ bends, protects his groin. Thorns gouge
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Theology


ECCE HOMO       
First Line: Christ bends, protects his groin. Thorns gouge
Last Line: O crucify; we sing. O crucify him
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion


EDGE       
First Line: Nicked steel wears down the waterstone
Last Line: Warmed by the fire of my %expensive failures


ELEGY FOR MY FATHER, WHO IS NOT DEAD    Poem Text    
First Line: One day Iíll lift the telephone
Last Line: And waving, shouting, welcome back
Subject(s): Fathers; Death; Dead, The


ELEGY FOR MY FATHER, WHO IS NOT DEAD       
First Line: One day I'll lift the telephone
Last Line: And waving, shouting, welcome back


ELEGY FOR THE BEES       
First Line: At dusk I crouch in greenery and watch the roses
Last Line: With which each empire turns into the next?


FATHER ON THE MARSH       
First Line: My older boy said, 'let's make soup'
Subject(s): Fathers


FEVER       
First Line: The constant simmer in my lungs


FIRE AND ST. FRANCIS    Poem Text    
First Line: As he sat eating by the fire one night
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Theology


FIRE AND ST. FRANCIS       
First Line: As he sat eating by the fire one night
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion


FIRST ANNIVERSARY       
First Line: For our first anniversary father brought by


FISHKILL ON THE CHATTAHOCHEE       
First Line: I pushed a dead fish down and held it under


FLAG OF HONEYSUCKLE       
First Line: From the brush pile I wrestled brittle limbs
Last Line: Whipping [or, to whip] this twig of honeysuckle into fragrance


FLAMINGOS HAVE ARRIVED IN ASHTABULA       
Last Line: Flamingos have arrived in ashtabula


FLAUTO PRIMO       
First Line: Amid the orchestra, I thrill


GARDEN CHANGES       
First Line: When I was young, I grew


GIFT       
First Line: They hung the lambs and cut t heir white throats. Blood
Last Line: Almost eager now that you had no choice
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion


GLYPHS       
First Line: I sleep on messages I've left


GOAT       
First Line: Though reverence may not save us
Last Line: Stopped laughing, laughing and laughing %because we cannot laugh


GOAT       
First Line: You who eat milled grain
Last Line: Wish you were choking on it, and not your own blood


GOAT GOD       
First Line: At twilight, pale twilight
Last Line: Sweetly, without bitterness


GOSPEL VILLANELLE    Poem Text    
First Line: Jesus will always be there. He's waiting. It's true.'
Subject(s): Christianity; Jesus Christ; Public Worship; Religion; Church Attendance; Theology


GRAND EXPENSIVE VISTA    Poem Text    
First Line: As we sipped and mingled,
Last Line: Glass table, hunger was our guide
Subject(s): Money


GRANDMOTHER'S SPIT       
First Line: To wipe the sleep-grains from my eyes or rub


HAIL       
First Line: Begonias and impatiens: %snapped. The hostas
Last Line: And the cold white stones seep into pounded grass


HAMMER AND SCOURGE       
First Line: Look in my eyes, vile rodents, and befoul
Last Line: Death to the field mouse, destroyer of the gray squirrel


HANGING GARDENS       
First Line: Gone: the palace of forty columns. Gone
Last Line: Or understood. I see her and I do not see her


HAWK ABOVE THE HOUSE       
First Line: The hawk hung low above the house, %appraising
Last Line: And here I am to tell him so


HE IMAGINES HIS WIFE DEAD       
First Line: I'd just leapt quickly to the curb


HEAT LIGHTNING IN A TIME OF DROUGHT    Poem Text    
First Line: My neighbor drunk, stood on his lawn and yellled
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Theology


HEAT LIGHTNING IN A TIME OF DROUGHT       
First Line: My neighbor drunk, stood on his lawn and yellled
Last Line: I wish my soul were larger than it is
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion


HEAVEN       
First Line: Between my back fence and the drainage ditch
Last Line: From my blade, my %advancing paradise


HEREAFTER       
First Line: Some people as they die grow fierce, afraid


HIS IMAGINARY FRIEND       
First Line: I meet her twice a day for tea
Last Line: Before I consummate my love %in kleenex facial tissue
Subject(s): Friendship; Hearts; Kisses; Love


HIS WIFE    Poem Text    
First Line: My wife is not afraid of dirt
Last Line: She smells of mint and lemon balm
Subject(s): Gardens & Gardening; Mariage


HIS WIFE       
First Line: My wife is not afraid of dirt


HOLE IN THE TENT       
First Line: The chemical smell of skunk drifts past my tent


HOLOFERNES REMINISCES AFTER THREE THOUSAND YEARS       
First Line: Mine is the oldest story


HORNETS' NEST       
First Line: We may have been just nine or ten, but still


HOT AUGUST NIGHTS       
First Line: The men downstairs are making love


HOUSE OF THE LORD FOREVER       
First Line: Where will you spend eternity


HOUSE ON DENMEAD STREET       
First Line: When I walk down the street - my street


HOW SHALL WE SING THE LORD'S SONG IN A STRANGE LAND?    Poem Text    
First Line: We crept up, watched a black
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Theology


HOW SHALL WE SING THE LORD'S SONG IN A STRANGE LAND?       
First Line: We crept up, watched a black
Last Line: But it will never feel like home
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion


HOW TO STOP       
First Line: Through the cracked door I saw
Last Line: Who'd done me a kindness when I needed one


HUMOR INSTITUTE       
First Line: Officials at the humor institute are sick
Last Line: They don't believe you're really seeking knowledge


HUSBAND ON THE MARSH       
First Line: I'm lost. Which is the point. That's why


I THINK OF BEING IN THE GRAVE       
First Line: I think of being in the grave
Last Line: At least compared to there


IN ALESIA       
First Line: In alesia, our last town, our final stronghold
Last Line: And if he were roman, he'd never have made us choose


IN SAN ANTONIO       
First Line: I've left behind the beef-blood cure


IN THE GAME       
First Line: From deep left field I watch the hitter
Last Line: I edge off second, feint, and try %to judge the steal. %we're one behind, %with one man, me, on base


IN THE NIGHT GARDEN       
First Line: It's cooling down - summer


IN THE RED SEATS       
First Line: High in the red seats
Last Line: Red rows, easing past strangers, %excusing myself


IN THE WELL       
First Line: My father cinched the rope, %a noose around my waist
Last Line: Then light. Then hands. Then breath


JACOB       
First Line: In the rose and pale gold of %declining light
Last Line: And limp home in the freshly fallen dark


JIM THE CAR    Poem Text    
First Line: He sputters his lips with a guttural rumble
Last Line: He's a 440 hemi with a glass-pack exhaust
Subject(s): Automobile Drivers


JULIA TUTWILER STATE PRISON FOR WOMEN    Poem Text    
First Line: On the prison's tramped-hard alabama clay
Last Line: Then race, hand in hand, for shelter, laughing
Subject(s): Prisons & Prisoners; Women; Convicts


JULIA TUTWILER STATE PRISON FOR WOMEN       
First Line: On the prison's tramped-hard alabama clay
Last Line: Then race, hand in hand, for shelter, laughing


KEYS       
First Line: Freed %from my winter coat giddy
Last Line: Door breached, the windows at my mercy


KISS GRANDMOTHERS GOOD NIGHT        Recitation by Author
Subject(s): Grandparents; Kissing; Grandmothers; Grandfathers; Great Grandfathers; Great Grandmothers


LAST TIME I SAW GENERAL LEE       
First Line: After we'd sung a song, the general


LATE SPRING IN THE NUCLEAR AGE; FOR CLARE ROSSINI    Poem Text    
First Line: The fish hit water nymphs, breaking surface
Last Line: That our deaths will not be the last.
Subject(s): Antinuclear Movement; Death; Nuclear War; Survival; Nuclear Freeze; Dead, The; Atomic Bomb; Hydrogen Bomb


LIAR'S PSALM: HOMAGE TO THE FOX       


LIAR'S PSALM: REPENTANCE       
First Line: I repent the actual. It has never got me anywhere
Last Line: A word to say. Forgive me now my finger in the wound, and knuckle deep
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion


LIGHTNING TREE       
First Line: While mary rakes the coals, leans fatwood chips


LISTEN! THE FLIES       
First Line: I went there early with a bamboo fan


LIVES AND STORIES       
First Line: After workshop we drifted to the union
Last Line: His ardent songs and her elusive twitter


LOVE LETTER FROM THE GRAVE: SIDNEY LANIER, 1881       
First Line: I'm out of this. But you're still scoured by
Subject(s): Lanier, Sidney (1842-1881)


LOVE LETTER FROM THE GRAVE: SIDNEY LANIER, 1881       
First Line: I'm out of this. But you're still scoured by
Subject(s): Lanier, Sidney (1842-1881)


MADONNA OF THE POMEGRANATE    Poem Text    
First Line: The crowd the blue triangle of the madonna
Last Line: Or says goodbye because he will live forever
Subject(s): Statues


MADONNA OF THE POMEGRANATE       
First Line: They crowd the blue triangle of the madonna


MAGNOLIAS       
First Line: Alabama: the first, a girl child
Last Line: Turning brown in the shape of fingertips


MANGO       
First Line: The slippery flesh slides underneath the knife
Last Line: I dream. I dream I enter and abide


MARY MAGDALENE'S LEFT FOOT    Poem Text    
First Line: I saw the picture in newsweek or time
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Theology


MARY MAGDALENE'S LEFT FOOT       
First Line: I saw the picture in newsweek or time
Last Line: Will ever know of where we place our lips
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion


MEMORIES OF LOOKOUT PRISON       
First Line: When john grew ill and couldn't eat


MENDING SOCKS       
First Line: Late. Dad asleep and johnny carson on
Last Line: Soon as I turned the corner, I'd peel them off %and walk to school bare-ankled, which was the style


MILTON       
First Line: In the white bear inside the huge spread eagle
Last Line: And consumed white bear, spread eagle, all hallows, bread street, %and a small house he'd leased the


MINE       
First Line: Work in a mine and become a mine
Last Line: And cannot relax. With each deep %probing cough, they are mining


MOSTLY MY NIGHTMARES ARE DULL    Poem Text    
First Line: Mostly my nightmares are dull. On autumn nights
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Theology


MOSTLY MY NIGHTMARES ARE DULL       
First Line: Mostly my nightmares are dull. On autumn nights
Last Line: As if I'll only -- fat chance -- live it once
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion


MY FATHER'S CORPSE    Poem Text    
First Line: He lay stone still, pretended to be dead
Last Line: To have the resurrected bastard back
Subject(s): Fathers & Sons


MY FATHER'S HOUSE       
First Line: From a second-story window in my father's house


MY MOTHER PREDICTS TRAVEL TO EXOTIC DESTINATIONS       
First Line: Shut up and study harder
Last Line: When you eat your final meal


MY MOTHER'S HANDS    Poem Text    
First Line: Yawning, she yanks the shuttle through the frame
Last Line: Stuck motionlless and never moved
Subject(s): Mothers; Family Life; Hands; Relatives


MY MOTHER'S HANDS       
First Line: Yawning, she yanks the shuttle through the frame


MYSTERY       
First Line: Returning the polished silver to its place


NIGHT CLASS       
First Line: He'd pull a yellow clipping from his wallet
Last Line: Till I could bear my own voice, and its silence


NOVEMBER GARDEN: AN ELEGY    Poem Text    
First Line: The zinnias - cut-and-come-again
Last Line: To the first hard freeze. They cannot stop
Subject(s): Gardens & Gardening


OLD JOKE: CHRIST AND THE WOMAN TAKE IN ADULTRY       
First Line: She'd been clubbed to her knees when christ


ON SENTIMENTALITY       
First Line: The first time I saw limelight, it didn't move me


ON THE KILLING FLOOR       
First Line: The cows moaned deep bass lows that rumbled in


ONE OF SOLOMON'S CONCUBINES, DYING, EXULTS IN HER VIRGINITY       
First Line: They tell me it's a fever. So


ONE THREW A DIRT CLOD AND IT RAN       
First Line: One threw a dirt clod and it ran, and when it paused
Last Line: So they could follow it forever, weeping and hurling stones


OUR NEIGHBOR'S LITTLE YAPPY DOG       
Last Line: I want to feed him-tail-first, slowly- %into the yard man's chipper-shredder


PACIFIST       
First Line: I said I was a pacifist
Last Line: I said. Then, hell, I went outside, %and covered snails with salt


PATCHWORK       
First Line: From the scrap barrel at work I pilfered scraps
Last Line: These big loose stitches. I'd sew you tighter. She grinned,%and with a lipless peck she kissed the s


PERSISTENCE OF NATURE IN OUR LIVES       
First Line: You find them in the darker woods
Last Line: In june, beneath the yearning trees
Subject(s): Nature


PLANT TWO SEEDS       
First Line: Plant two seeds, pluck the weaker seedling
Last Line: Plant two seeds. Death is never wasted


PLAYING DEAD    Poem Text     Recitation
First Line: Our father liked to play a game.
Last Line: Iím way too young to quote íem
Subject(s): Fathers; Family Life; Death; Relatives; Dead, The


PLUNGE       
First Line: I lumbered from the river and worked my way up the slippery bank
Last Line: My footprints waited for my wet feet to obliterate and renew them


POEM       
First Line: We were simply talking, probably work
Last Line: And why do we always, always have to speak


POEM       
First Line: Blunt daffodil spikes
Last Line: The dead world's constant simmer


POEMS FOR BAD CHILDREN       
First Line: We buried the bird but the cat dug her up
Last Line: No matter how he begs and pleads %and tries to tell you why


POET ASSERTETH NOTHING       
First Line: The poet asserteth nothing. This elegy's
Last Line: And a lie, a beautiful and true, life-changing lie


POSTCARDS OF THE HANGING       
First Line: Clifford, we've grown too far apart


PRAYER       
First Line: The preacher had us get down on our knees


PRAYER BEFORE BED    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: Of course I pray for mommy's health
Last Line: Let daddy bring it home
Subject(s): Prayer; Fathers


PRAYER FOR AN EX-WIFE       
First Line: Outside, wind whips green limbs of willow, loud
Last Line: The willow, bless the bee, the wind, the pollen. %god bless the bedsheets and the salmon moon


PRAYING DRUNK    Poem Text    
First Line: Our father who art in heaven, I am praying drunk
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Theology


PRAYING DRUNK       
First Line: Our father who art in heaven, I am praying drunk
Last Line: He goes. As I fall past, remember me
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion


PSALM AGAINST PSALMS       


PURPLE       
First Line: As a boy I'd lie in bed and try
Last Line: Divide and redivide, %accelerating


RAIN       
First Line: It's raining women here in cincinnati
Last Line: Eternity's a ball, history is a stick


RAKING OUT THE NEST       
First Line: The ladder tilted. I took a deep
Last Line: I eased down off the tilted ladder. %the clean house settled into silence


RAPPROCHEMENT WITH DEATH       
First Line: I knew for sure on january seventeenth


RAVEN DAYS       
First Line: These are what my father calls


REBUILDING A BIRD       
First Line: The ape stared at the bird, then pulled
Last Line: To hold, some day, beneath the knife


RECURRING DREAM OF BATS       
First Line: Like shards of blood-warm darkness broken off


REFLECTIONS ON COLD HARBOR       
First Line: It's after dawn the third of june


RETURNING HOME TO BABYLON       
First Line: The eunuch who loves daniel - ashpenaz


SAINTS AND STRANGERS: 1. AT THE PIANO    Poem Text    
First Line: One night two hunters, drunk, came in the tent
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Theology


SAINTS AND STRANGERS: 1. AT THE PIANO       
First Line: One night two hunters, drunk, came in the tent
Last Line: Which was rouged crimson with red clay and blood
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion


SAINTS AND STRANGERS: 2. EVE'S SIN       
First Line: Some summer nights when we were on the road
Last Line: An undershirt clenched hard between my thighs


SAINTS AND STRANGERS: 3. WHERE THE RIVER JORDAN ENDS       
First Line: She put two flowered hair clasps in my hair
Last Line: I wanted to be saved again. Again


SAINTS AND STRANGERS: 4. LOOSE CHANGE    Poem Text    
First Line: We'd sip our water and wait till supper came
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Theology


SAINTS AND STRANGERS: 4. LOOSE CHANGE       
First Line: We'd sip our water and wait till supper came
Last Line: Take this, you slut, I've stolen it for you
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion


SAINTS AND STRANGERS: 5. THE SOUTHERN CRESCENT WAS ON TIME       
First Line: I played piano while my daddy knelt
Last Line: But what, I didn't ask or want to know


SAINTS AND STRANGERS: 6. A KISS IN CHURCH       
First Line: I had to giggle at the way he sang
Last Line: Nothing. I hope nothing. Nothing at all


SAINTS AND STRANGERS: 7. GLOSSOLALIA       
First Line: There was one sagging bed, all his. We slept
Last Line: Too much imagination? Not enough?


SAINTS AND STRANGERS: 8. SAINTS AND STRANGERS       
First Line: You teach a baptist etiquette, she turns
Last Line: And daddy takes the bowl and helps his plate


SATAN       
First Line: Do you have satan in your heart?
Last Line: I softly whispered, 'bang!'


SENTIMENTAL DANGERS    Poem Text    
First Line: When out of work and fierce with self-pity
Last Line: And the river smelled like a wet, unwanted dog
Subject(s): Unemployment; Dogs


SENTIMENTAL DANGERS       
First Line: When out of work and fierce with self-pity
Last Line: I thought of this today when I crossed the bridge %and the vier smelled like a wet, unwanted dog


SERENADES IN VIRGINIA       
First Line: When we heard of a lady who


SEVENTEEN       
First Line: Ahead of me, the dog reared on its rope
Last Line: Then scattered through coarse orange and purple weeds


SIDNEY LANIER IN MONTGOMERY: AUGUST 1866    Poem Text    
First Line: A walk abroad our sunday streets
Last Line: As we do the stars an hour later
Subject(s): Lanier, Sidney (1842-1881)


SIDNEY LANIER IN MONTGOMERY: AUGUST 1866       
First Line: A walk abroad our sunday streets
Subject(s): Lanier, Sidney (1842-1881)


SIGNS OF A CHANGE IN WEATHER       
First Line: The jackdaw chatters late, the chaffinch pipes at dawn
Last Line: And honeysuckle reeks of burning rubber


SNAKE       
First Line: When we open, %the snake opens %with us-old
Last Line: Hungering %in the blood garden


SOCIAL ORDER       
First Line: When I came home from first grade, mom
Last Line: Let jesus love them all. Let jesus %love every goddamn one of us


SOLDIER ON THE MARSH       
First Line: On leave, I sat on marsh grass, watched


SOMETHING WAKES ME UP       


SONG OF THE DRUNKARDS WHOSE THROATS WILL BE CUT IN A MOMENT       
First Line: When the knife is through and our throats cleanly cut, let red wine
Last Line: When it returns to work among the singers. %let us drink


SOTTO VOCE       
First Line: I'm standing in the university


SOUTHERN LITERATURE       
First Line: She hunched in the backseat and smoked
Last Line: I chambered awe. I pulled the trigger


STEPPINGSTONE    Poem Text    
First Line: Home (from court square fountain
Last Line: Grace, grace canít contain
Subject(s): Home


STOKER'S SUNDAY MORNING       
First Line: The curate drones about abednego


STUMP       
First Line: The gray wood of the oak stump, dappled brown, stopped
Last Line: And merged once more our two diverging laughters


SUFFICIENT WITNESS       
First Line: When I skip meals, it doesn't bother me


SUMMER OF THE DROUGHT       
First Line: He wasn't right. We all knew that. His head


SUPPER       
First Line: We shared our supper with the flames
Last Line: How chaste the bright flame, because it can


SWORDFISH    Poem Text    
First Line: My fingertips marveled at the silvery shimmer,
Last Line: Her azure eyelids shimmering with jade
Subject(s): Relationships


TELLING       
First Line: Dawn overtook scheherazade and she fell silent
Last Line: And, lucky andrew, baptist boy - he read, %he lost himself, he made the trip to mecca


THE ADORATION OF THE MAGI    Poem Text    
First Line: A boy -- okay,it's me -- wears a fringed
Last Line: One hand pressed hard into this crotch
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Theology


THE CESTELLO ANNUNCIATION    Poem Text    
First Line: The angel has already said, 'be not afraid'
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Theology


THE CIRCUS IN THE TREES    Poem Text    
First Line: I love to watch the gray squirrels leap
Subject(s): Squirrels; Trees


THE COW    Poem Text    
First Line: I love the red cow
Last Line: With her own creamy butter
Subject(s): Cows


THE FUNERAL SERMON    Poem Text    
First Line: Almost droll / in its assault on magisterial
Subject(s): Funerals; Fathers; Burials


THE GIFT    Poem Text    
First Line: They hung the lambs and cut t heir white throats. Blood
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Theology


THE GLASS HAMMER    Poem Text    
First Line: My mother's knickknack crystal hammer
Last Line: Who hammered me Ė goddamn 'er
Subject(s): Family Life; Relatives


THE GREEN CHRIST    Poem Text    
First Line: So long they almost touch
Last Line: Or take me when he returns
Subject(s): Jesus Christ; Trees


THE IMAGINED COPPERHEAD    Poem Text    
First Line: Without intending to hide,
Last Line: And his priesthood.
Subject(s): Snakes; Childhood Memories; Imagination; Serpents; Vipers; Fancy


THE LIAR'S PSALM: REPENTANCE    Poem Text    
First Line: I repent the actual. It has never got me anywhere
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Theology


THE PERSISTENCE OF NATURE IN OUR LIVES    Poem Text    
First Line: You find them in the darker woods
Subject(s): Nature


THE TOOTH FAIRY    Poem Text    
First Line: Each time another tooth falls out
Subject(s): Love - Complaints


THESE PRIVILEGES DOTH THE WOLF HOLD TO THIS HOUR       
First Line: The wolf is neither faithful nor unfaithful
Last Line: The wolf eyes everything. He's merely choosing


THEY MUST BE POETRY       
First Line: A pigeon-colored dawn, and two generals march %are marched
Last Line: They must be poetry


THUMPING OF THE BED       
First Line: The thump, thump, thump of the hideous bed
Last Line: Bang-a-bang, a-bang, a-bang, bang


THUS       
First Line: I've never wanted childhood back


TOOLS: AN ODE    Poem Text    
First Line: The cheap / screwdriver reams the cheap
Last Line: Not unmagisterial, / chorale
Subject(s): Tools


TOOLS: AN ODE       
First Line: The cheap %screwdriver reams the cheap
Last Line: Each smile between old lovers


TOOTH FAIRY       
First Line: Each time another tooth falls out
Last Line: I only get a dime
Subject(s): Love - Complaints


TRANSISTOR RADIO       
First Line: Summer nights I huddled under
Last Line: To older worlds, in the hot %dark of my own slow breathing


TRICKS OF THE BODY       
First Line: Eyes rolled back in his head, my brother
Last Line: The teeth, in their first slippage, grew whiter, %the half-grin grinning at its other half


TWO EMBER DAYS IN ALABAMA       
First Line: Out with my dog at dawn - we couldn't sleep
Last Line: The starting over. And then the never-ending


TWO STRANGERS ENTER SODOM       
First Line: Those who'd seen them told the others
Last Line: In our god-dazzled night


TWO WORLDS OF SLEEP       
First Line: Someone old has come to live with us


UGLY FLOWERS       
First Line: Brown fields freeze, unfreeze


VERSIFICATION OF A PASSAGE FROM PENTHOUSE       
First Line: So he'd be sure to see me, we came in late
Last Line: He yelled. It does sound pretty stupid now, %but what do I care. I sucked elvis preley's cock


WALKING THE IDIOTS       
First Line: It seldom varies. Soon as they're out the door


WAR'S END       
First Line: Birds trilled as if it were their last


WEB       
First Line: Except for tennis shoes, I was naked when, walking from the


WHAT A GRAND WORLD IT WOULD BE!       
First Line: Between us, miz porter tapped her yardstick hard
Last Line: Miz porter kept on shouting, louder, louder!


WHAT LIGHT DESTROYS    Poem Text    
First Line: Today I'm thinking of st. Paul -- st. Paul
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Troy; Theology


WHAT LIGHT DESTROYS       
First Line: Today I'm thinking of st. Paul -- st. Paul
Last Line: That if the moon were my blue coin, I'd never spend it
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Troy


WHEN I WAS SAVED       
First Line: Do you still have a demon in your heart?'
Last Line: Who was reborn each night, like lazarus, %by my own hand, beneath the sweat-drenched sheets


WHEN THE WEAK LAMB DIES       
First Line: When the weak lamb %dies, the shepherd skins
Last Line: As we choke, %gag, gulp, gag, %gorge ourselves


WHY STOP?       
First Line: Why stop? The dancers are %still dancing
Last Line: To start again when we are stronger


WILD SWANS SKIP SCHOOL       
First Line: We beat wings. We %fly rings. We
Last Line: Won't stay. We %fly 'way


WIND       
First Line: Wind shook the dead but not-yet-fallen leaves
Last Line: The leaves sang, dying, don't die, and I've obeyed them


WISDOM AND ADVICE       
First Line: Sit straight and don't slouch. Don't whine
Last Line: The world's not made to happy. %so put that in your pipe and smoke it


WORLD OF TURTLES       
First Line: Despite the stink I keep on going back


YELLOW STEEPLE       
First Line: On my way home from work, I jumped the fence


YOUNG OAKS       
First Line: In rose and gold declining light
Last Line: In the rose and pale gold dusk


ZELDA SAYRE IN MONTGOMERY: 1942       
First Line: I've put my easel on the patio