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Author: SMITH, CHARLIE
Matches Found: 253


Smith, Charlie    Poet's Biography
253 poems available by this author


ABUSES IN THE BIG HOTELS       
First Line: Small birds, damaged by shellfire, slant against the light
Last Line: The seductive and unappeasable...' and stops talking


ADDRESS TO THE EX    Poem Text    
First Line: Have you quieted yet?
Subject(s): Divorce


AFTER HAYDN    Poem Text    
First Line: Speeding around in a little car
Subject(s): Human Behavior; Conduct Of Life; Human Nature


AFTER HAYDN       
First Line: Speeding around in a little car
Last Line: I wonder how often real life comes up with it, %maybe just a dream


AFTER THE GAME       
First Line: Our drunk buddy shuffles past the grandstand
Last Line: Jolly as the heroes of troy %with the clanging blue mediterranean %still years from devouring us


AGELING       
First Line: Involuntary religion
Last Line: As I will not. Already the flesh slackens, %a sullen sensuality %has settled in my face; my hands da


AGITATION       
First Line: She was a roughhouse girl, she didn't care
Last Line: So what; such things never reach the land


AMERICAN DRIFT       
First Line: Uncharacteristically %I have given up love again. Call it love


AMERICAN DRIFT: 1       
First Line: I remember father stooping
Last Line: There are not enough pleasures %to simplify the spirit


AMERICAN DRIFT: 2       
First Line: I got down on my knees
Last Line: I'd dusted flour on to keep deer away, %cursing the coons whose withered, old-men's feet %and bitter


AMERICAN DRIFT: 3       
First Line: Stubbornly, %love persists. I can't understand
Last Line: Sick of hope. %I can't blame anyone for giving up. %I can't blame anyone for setting off alone


ANSWER       
First Line: The house my father built
Last Line: We might not mean to, but we take too long to answer


ANTICIPATION       
First Line: I think he ought to practice
Last Line: And the clouds are just puffs and white china dogs


APPETITE       
First Line: My father calls to say his arm hurts because he slept
Last Line: And then you can't wait another minute for the convulsion to begin


AQUARIUM       
First Line: After the sporty dolphin show
Subject(s): Aquariums


ARCHEOLOGIES    Poem Text    
First Line: I wonder about all the thoughts
Subject(s): Human Behavior; Conduct Of Life; Human Nature


ARCHEOLOGIES       
First Line: I wonder about all the thoughts
Last Line: Will not lie down in the dead man's bed


ARRANGEMENTS    Poem Text    
First Line: I like a manuever that doesn't start in silence
Subject(s): Human Behavior; Conduct Of Life; Human Nature


ARRANGEMENTS       
First Line: I'd like a maneuver that doesn't 'start in silence
Last Line: I never know who they mean. And despite everything, %silence comes


AS FAR AS LIVING THINGS GO       
First Line: We come upriver to the high ground, to a headland of pines


AS IN JAPAN THIS MORNING       
First Line: Somehow I have come close
Last Line: Glittering or a red scarf %forgotten on a wash line, %and rests there a moment %before plunging help


AT FIVE IN THE AFTERNOON       
First Line: I can't say anything about her
Last Line: That tempts you to stay out a little longer


AT THE BRIGHT MOUTH       
First Line: Rich, flat, irrepressible odor
Last Line: A dog barks unhappily as he does %each morning, unable to believe %in recurrence, or love sustained


AT THE FORESTRY SUB-STATION       
First Line: At the foresty sub-station they have pines


AT THE HOUR OF OUR BIRTH       
First Line: This slaughterhouse, this versailles--how easy
Last Line: What face is this that will know everything, see clearly?


AT THIS HOUR       
First Line: The city deharmonizes in some areas, arms us with breastworks
Last Line: Playing softly on a junkie's turned-down radio, someone almost peaceful %at this hour


ATTACHMENT    Poem Text    
First Line: Little prongs, hooks, eyelets
Subject(s): Love


ATTACHMENT       
First Line: Little prongs, hooks, eyelets %threaded through you
Last Line: As if you were leaving me


BAD DAUGHTER       
First Line: Pale blue clouds over the stockyards
Last Line: Staring forever at the stockyards reeking of torn bodies %between her and the distant entirely untro


BANQUET       
First Line: I went down to missalonghi
Last Line: And I got up and followed him out %into the feckless sorrow and stupidity, %into the blazes, empty d


BASIC BLACK    Poem Text    
First Line: For simplicity's sake I don't think about her
Subject(s): Love - Loss Of


BASIC BLACK       
First Line: For simplicity's sake I don't think about her
Last Line: Sake-- %it could be anything


BEAUTY KILLS    Poem Text    
First Line: In virginia / I stalled a while watching a bay horse
Last Line: Or makes him what he is
Subject(s): Beauty


BEAUTY KILLS       
First Line: In virginia


BEAUTY KILLS       
First Line: In virginia %I stalled a while watching a bay horse
Last Line: Or what makes him what he is
Subject(s): Aids (disease); Sickness


BEAUTYWORKS       
First Line: ...All kinds of beauty in the world dense pressed-down spots in grass
Last Line: Always on the other side of conciousness, no way .. This is beauty ... %to understand a thing about
Subject(s): Beauty; Nature


BEDS    Poem Text    
First Line: Terrible beds, soft beds, wily, elusive beds,
Subject(s): Beds


BEDS       
First Line: Terrible beds, soft beds, wily, elusive beds
Last Line: Come down around us, settled and consonant, happy in our bed


BELIEF       
First Line: From promontories, from low walkways
Last Line: On our faces say we're confused, edgy, %stunned by light, and don't believe a thing


BETTER THAN HEAVEN    Poem Text    
First Line: So many set-asides, you say, intemperate
Last Line: Leads, possible meaning
Subject(s): Social Commentaries


BUSINESS       
First Line: My father and his brother didn't get along
Last Line: That will feed a man as long as he lives


BY-LAWS       
First Line: Courtesy and a sweet manner were by-laws
Last Line: To save each other, and ourselves, %from the loneliness it concealed


CALL GIRLS       
First Line: My rage, you bet
Last Line: As I said-I was once %devoted to


CAPITALILSM       
First Line: My father believed in the dynastic principle
Last Line: Whose ruckus we fed, howling


CEREMONIES       
First Line: ...Way to put it, a seasonal change
Last Line: The old woman in another room dying now


CHARACTER PART       
First Line: The aging actress makes a salad
Last Line: The green flags above the lifeguard stand, %the rocking waters, someone's name written in the sand


CHILD'S PLAY       
First Line: I got stranded down south america way, %drunk laid out
Last Line: Looking for someone, you never know who


CLAIRVOYANCE       
First Line: In this family everyone knows everything
Last Line: The awful facts we rehearsed and memorized just yesterday


CLEAN       
First Line: Flattened, sprawled out, snuffling like a dog
Last Line: All the old possibilities-corrigendious, bone-headed and radiant- are here


COME DON'T GO SOUTH       
First Line: Some don't go south for their health
Last Line: Something that runs away into the %mossy fog, that we are no longer sure we saw


CONCEIT    Poem Text    
First Line: My brother's afraid to get angry
Subject(s): Brothers; Anger; Letters; Family Life; Half-brothers; Relatives


CONCEIT       
First Line: My brother's afraid to get angry
Last Line: And crossed-out words like scars in flesh


CONFEDERATE STATES       
First Line: It is so simple: our domesticated life
Last Line: Choking resin, into the spined of needles %nothing else to do but fall


COVERT ACTION       
First Line: I stab at the waitress
Last Line: Winking back at the leaves


CREATION RITES       
First Line: ...Some average of the holiness in every person you have ever run %into
Last Line: Waits for her to come up out of the water like a rectified god


CROOKED       
First Line: I keep hanging to the fence outside
Last Line: To quit, but then a crooked singing %of birds stirs from the woods and we decide to go on a little l


CYCLES       
First Line: I think it is well known now


DAY AFTER THIS       
First Line: Toward the end my father got desperate
Last Line: And you will go on from there, toward the next


DEFIANCE       
First Line: I go through periods, a grown man, still reluctant
Last Line: And even then you couldn't be sure


DEFIANCE OF HEROES       
First Line: In stories the old hero turns from the house
Last Line: Voyages end only %to reveal the ample treasure: %there is no home in this world


DESOLATION YOUR INHERITANCE       
First Line: Here you might come on yourself, a chef
Last Line: The vacant lot where your estate used to be


DISTANCE       
First Line: Among us no one's died in a long time
Last Line: Of the last machine he hears grows faint, %he will begin to beg, just to make a noise


DREAMBOAT       
First Line: Some starlet grimacing %is my double
Last Line: Disconsolate %yet stubborn, unappeasable


DUSK AT HOMER'S       
First Line: The sun withdraws into its twilight years
Last Line: I've got time on my hands, %it won't wash off


EASTERN FORESTS    Poem Text    
First Line: I have been walking in the eastern forests
Subject(s): Forests; Woods


EASTERN FORESTS       
First Line: I have been walking in the eastern forests
Last Line: Like love does in our nomenclature, or rumors of gold


ESSENTIAL STORY       
First Line: We each wanted our own story, my father and I
Last Line: My father wouldn't let me get a word in, %he had so much to say about how he missed me


EVASIVE ACTION    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: ...The clip ped possessive moment, the barber on his porch
Subject(s): Hair; Past


EX REGIS       
First Line: As the road narrows - though it does not


EXCURSION       
First Line: The heart moves on, selects a place for itself
Last Line: Somehow we are not surprised or sidetracked


FAMILY BURIAL       
First Line: All around water moves, rocking
Last Line: Not until father died, the river says, did I know I could live


FAMILY PLOT       
First Line: There are a few sad graves in our family
Last Line: First of a generation, last of a line of thought, %keeping his uncomplicated vigil before the cannon


FIDDLER       
First Line: In general, you want to touch someone everywhere
Last Line: Old song, sustained and elegant, that on onebut her %knew the name of


FIGURATIVE MARRIAGE       
First Line: Something so mixed, almost apparent


FIVE       
First Line: Inexplicable foreign substance of life
Last Line: The artist places sheets of paper on the grass %everything speaks for itself


FIXED POSITIOON       
First Line: In our family no one ever changes, so it goes
Last Line: And still the argument went on


FLOWERS OF MANHATTAN    Poem Text    
First Line: ... Early morning petal-strewn sidewalks of manhattan
Last Line: Makes a fist and throws punches at the air. Love’s no secret now
Subject(s): Flowers; New York City; Manhattan; New York, New York; The Big Apple


FLOWERS OF MANHATTAN       
First Line: ... Early morning petal-strewn sidewalks of manhattan
Last Line: Makes a fist and throws punches at the air. Love's no secret now
Subject(s): Flowers; New York City


FORTUNE    Poem Text    
Subject(s): Loss


FORTUNE       
First Line: At a small monastery - or what had been
Last Line: That in a month we would lose the child, %and in time you would pass, %like a squandered fortune, fr


FRONT MAN       
First Line: My father was a social man, talking
Last Line: Only fear running in your head; the emptiness is moving too
Subject(s): Fathers


FUCHSIA    Poem Text    
First Line: Apprentice morning come easily now,
Subject(s): Nature; Conduct Of Life; Landscape


FUCHSIA       
First Line: Apprentice morning come easily now
Last Line: We saw from the window on the way to st. Albans: beautiful, %indifferent, unequivocably doomed


GAIN    Poem Text    
First Line: A backwall of mirrors in a deserted store
Last Line: Yellow in the whites of my eyes. Pretend to wonder why
Subject(s): City & Town Life


GESTURE       
First Line: Tonight my father could be standing here with me
Last Line: One in the mirror, one in the room, gesturing wildly


GOSNOLD POND: 1       
First Line: I get everything I can
Last Line: A crumpling sound which is not the sound of crumpling branches %but a sound as if the wind itself we


GOSNOLD POND: 2       
First Line: The flock of black birds rising
Last Line: As one can go - but, and to return, I cannot say %the old world has abandoned me, that what was once


GOSNOLD POND: 3       
First Line: Has fled, because this all: the rachitic trees
Last Line: So the possibility, %as in the western sky the day %burns itself clean, of night, %becomes night


GRAVE       
First Line: I missed my old friend's funeral
Last Line: Finding only this one, come to this


GREEN LIFE WHERE IT GOES       
First Line: I go off and visit the trees
Last Line: Those around him didn't know what to say


HALF-DONE WORLD       
First Line: I propose to put things differently
Last Line: Holds down a world--as dark comes--half-done world, already passed


HEADS OF FIRE       
First Line: Maybe you don't think pigeons
Last Line: Not something else - otherwise - %as you had so often claimed, %as you had so often believed


HEROIN    Poem Text    


HEROIN       
First Line: I left a message for my publisher to send copies of the contracts
Last Line: As I say in the memorir they are paying me so handsomely for


HISTORY       
First Line: There's a street of houses with women behind %the windows
Last Line: But they aren't really thinking about it anymore


HOLLY TREE       
First Line: More than a tragically impaired
Last Line: The fresh sea glitters, another %frail extravagance, I guess, depleted, %epicene and impermanent too


HOME LESSONS       
First Line: We were up in the air about things, untethered
Last Line: Who when we came to take her home, wouldn't go


HONESTY    Poem Text    
First Line: Maybe anna won't arrive
Last Line: Rebuking paradise, groping for the cat
Subject(s): Honesty


HONESTY       
First Line: Maybe anna won't arrive
Last Line: Rebuking paradise, groping for the dog
Subject(s): Honesty


I DON'T WANT A SON       
First Line: I don't have a child
Last Line: I'll leave you here, she'd say, and, bravely, drive away


I MEAN EVERYTHING I SAY       
First Line: A boy's first fistfight he's crying
Last Line: Conveying some new way of life, or nothing important %across town, it touches you


IF ANYTHING CAN    Poem Text    
First Line: Of those dark days
Last Line: Wondering what to do, what can be done
Subject(s): Summer


ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO FAMILIAR AMERICAN TREES    Poem Text    
First Line: I don't get it about the natural world
Subject(s): New York City; Trees; Manhattan; New York, New York; The Big Apple


IN BAHIA HONDA    Poem Text    
First Line: Light a blunder, a gaffe
Subject(s): Florida Keys; Swimming & Swimmers


IN BAHIA HONDA       
First Line: Light a blunder, a gaffe
Last Line: An awful evidence torn to pieces on the floor


IN PRAISE OF REGRET    Poem Text    
First Line: Somehow the longing we speak of
Subject(s): Grief; Regret; Sorrow; Sadness


INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM THE DARKNESS       
First Line: The dark under the trees is filled with lightning bugs
Last Line: Indistinguishable from darkness. It is not a matter %of being saved. I know this


INVENTION OF THE LAND       
First Line: In those days everything was permanent
Last Line: That could mean you well can go


JEHOVAH'S WITNESS       
First Line: Flying into myself is the image, specific
Last Line: Nothing has ever happened like this before


JUMP SOUL    Poem Text    
First Line: Spirit like an aviary in one of the olde zoos
Last Line: And coherent sunshine huffing calmly, not for them
Subject(s): Souls


KICKING       
First Line: When we broke up I removed all traces from the house
Last Line: I was bereft then too & men were dying & the wild wind blew none of it away


KOGANE NO NAMI       
First Line: In the early morning, rain, then the first


KOHAKU       
First Line: The first time we made love
Last Line: Who stood in the wind %calling our dogs with names %that didn't belong to him, or to me


LEAVING NEVADA       
First Line: In the u-bet bucko john reading a travel brochure
Last Line: & spending it all in one place
Subject(s): Nevada


LIAR    Poem Text    
First Line: What brings me alive
Subject(s): Lies


LIFE ON EARTH       
First Line: ... Auto parks in layers show off the light
Last Line: A power surges through everything, %no rest for the living, work barely begun
Subject(s): Automobiles; Labor And Laborers; Life


LIGHT SHINING NOW       
First Line: What has begun %atom by atom, the interiority first constructing itself
Last Line: A slight recall of the disintegration, %the terror


LITTLE DOORS       
First Line: Privilege of being withers as
Last Line: Something bright and homely we %will purchase complacently, as a gift


LOS DOS RANCHEROS    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: I can see the moon like a bullet sunk in the clouds' body
Subject(s): Man-woman Relationships; Male-female Relations


LOS DOS RANCHEROS       
First Line: I can see the moon like a bullet sunk in the clouds' body
Last Line: What do you think? That nothing can kill the world, not %even love?


LOUISIANA PURCHASE    Poem Text    
First Line: Who knows but that meriwether lewis's
Last Line: And laughed as if that was something
Subject(s): Louisiana


LOUISIANA PURCHASE       
First Line: Who knows but that meriweather lewis's
Last Line: That's coming. The past I don't mind, she said, %and laughed as if that was something
Subject(s): Louisiana


MATURITY       
First Line: Where they're not banked
Last Line: Of the anonymous, hurrying bodies of strangers %that, for a moment, seemed so defenseless %you were


MEANING OF BIRDS       
First Line: Of the genesis of birds we know nothing
Last Line: To flap your arms and cry out, to give %one more cracked rendition of your singular, aspirant song


MERCIES       
First Line: In the drift of a moment's pleasure
Last Line: Like the shade of elms %lifting the light from the glass, %to replenish my life, wine of paradise


MILITARY MIND    Poem Text    
First Line: I wanted to go to military school
Last Line: Like a plowblade in her arms
Subject(s): Military Education; Military Schools


MINIATURE CITY       
First Line: The aging family life fades out, subsides
Last Line: Still unresolved, and the same with grief, %like a perfect wound that aches but doesn't show


MISSING DAUGHTER       
First Line: My mother wanted a daughter; she would
Last Line: She thought a daughter would help her bear all this


MODERN ART    Poem Text    
First Line: Matisse, in a letter
Subject(s): Art & Artists; Nature


MODERN ART       
First Line: Matisse, in a letter %to henry clifford, said an artist must identify himself
Last Line: Smell your body in the damp clay and feculence


MONASTIC       
First Line: Carefully, as if you are celibate
Subject(s): Daffodils; Spring


MONEY       
First Line: My father and I argue over money - his loss
Last Line: For her, is inexplicable


MONKEYS IN WHITE SATIN       
First Line: Now and then you catch a glimpse of space invaders
Last Line: That you said meant nothing, wasn't your intention at all


MONSTERS    Poem Text    
First Line: Leaf shadows in the streets, flag shadows winkling
Last Line: On the surface; the light left burning looks like an ornament now
Subject(s): Morning


MOON, MOON    Poem Text    
First Line: The moon follows me street by street
Subject(s): Moon; City & Town Life


MOON, MOON       
First Line: The moon follows me street by street
Last Line: Who would believe me--she wouldn't-- %one more time


MUTE    Poem Text    
First Line: It's gotten so I can't say what's in my heart
Subject(s): Conduct Of Life


MUTE       
First Line: It's gotten so I can't say what's in my heart
Last Line: Repeating their stupid cries in the pines


MY MOTHER WAS QUICK       
First Line: My mother was agile, too quick to catch
Last Line: But you do, you turn away


MY PARENTS' WEDDING       
First Line: I cannot believe how beautiful they are
Last Line: Her body up to take his lips with hers, and it is one week %before he will find her in bed with his


NATURAL HISTORY       
First Line: Near that revelation a stone
Last Line: It was only the next round beginning, %as, near that revelation


NEAR RELATION       
First Line: For months after it happened my brother sent gifts
Last Line: Like a yellow lance penetrating her skull, but she is smiling
Subject(s): Family Life; Relationships


NEITHER ORNAMENTAL NOR TRUE       
First Line: You say incredible things, like a gun


NEW JERSEY TRANSIT    Poem Text    
First Line: Rusted up industrial natures you spy
Subject(s): Railroads; New Jersey; Travel; Railways; Trains; Journeys; Trips


NEW JERSEY TRANSIT       
First Line: Rusted up industrial natures you spy
Last Line: You spread vast wings and collect the children under them


NIGHT WON'T STOP IT       
First Line: We are tired of arguing about who is the most hurt
Last Line: Will be forgotten. It was only an experiment


NO NONSENSE    Poem Text    


NOT YET       
First Line: The scrap of pink net filled
Last Line: After the shutters have been pulled %and we are left to the harsh bellowing %of the wounded achillea


NOW I SMACK MY HEAD       
First Line: I've taken too many things seriously
Last Line: For about ten seconds but stand there %with my heart pounding wildly, %seriously in love with it all


NOW, SINCE       
First Line: Now, since he's had children, my brother
Last Line: The one who looks like our mother


NUMBER SIX SHOT       
First Line: The black dog swims strongly


OF THIS I SPEAK TO NO ONE       
First Line: Some days then the rage %like a fire in the back of the house
Last Line: The mortification-of these I say nothing


OFFENDED PARTIES       
First Line: I wake at first light, my mind running fast
Last Line: Madman - still one of us
Subject(s): Relationships


OKEFENOKEE STELLAE'       
First Line: So we must build to the moment
Last Line: The possiblity of murder, %approach the pond - it shimmers %with cold dark light - and carefully dri


OMNIPOTENCE       
First Line: I wanted to see the emotion in my brother's face
Last Line: Holding herself in bloody arms apologizing


ON EVENING TIDE       
First Line: At evening, as the tide comes in
Last Line: And form - save what we fling out on it, %sails or cries, flying forth into the dark


ON NOT BUYING A CELL PHONE    Poem Text    
First Line: Late snow, a re-snow
Subject(s): Mobile Telephones


ONE LIE AFTER ANOTHER    Poem Text    
First Line: I'd come so far, the last leg
Subject(s): Lies


ONE POSSIBLE MEANING    Poem Text    
First Line: This afternoon the park is filled with brides
Last Line: Releases a magic that changes everything
Subject(s): Children; Parks; Childhood


ORANGE LIGHT IN THE WINDOWS       
First Line: ...Of course there are cranberry bogs for sale
Last Line: What did she mean, about the smell?


ORIGINATIONS       
First Line: My grandfather, arrested on the ochlocknee for setting illegal %traps
Last Line: City, my friend says, 'she probably remembers all that'


OUTPATIENT       
First Line: Later she was loose again, discharged
Last Line: Gently closing circles where her breasts used to be


PALMS       
First Line: When the sun went down in l.A. That day I was driving
Last Line: Who slaps and slaps his small daughter, until they both are stunned, %stuped and helpless, overwhelm


PASSAGE       
First Line: What you gave to me along with scarlet
Last Line: And touch, permanent only %because ongoing


PERCEPTION ONE       
First Line: What is already preposterous, the simple compilation
Last Line: That loss - or its mother, desire - would be a part of our lives now, %we would eat it as our daily


PERCEPTION TWO       
First Line: The world this morning is no miracle
Last Line: Or use it perhaps, live in it briefly, %and try to remember,and to on, forgetting


PLACE IN THE WORLD       
First Line: We continued a ways...
Last Line: Modulant, capacious-%the light striking a clamor of light from the trees-%falling


PLANTING MORNING GLORIES IN OCTOBER    Poem Text    
First Line: Black-seed sputter, peppercorns
Subject(s): Morning Glories; Autumn; Fall


PLANTING MORNING GLORIES IN OCTOBER       
First Line: Black seed-sputter, peppercorns
Last Line: Each morning unfurled-all forgiven in the night- %shining


POEMS WITHOUT WORDS       
First Line: Blue mountainous clouds
Last Line: A young man finds it there


PORTENTS    Poem Text    
First Line: October fades out in its special colors
Subject(s): October; Death; Transience; Dead, The; Impermanence


PORTENTS       
First Line: October fades out in its special colors
Last Line: Us in the light, begins to imagine things


PORTS OF CALL    Poem Text    
First Line: In sink into the arms of a travel brochure
Last Line: For a slack still eden
Subject(s): Travel


QUEEN OF WINTER       
First Line: Breasts cut off , uterus removed
Last Line: Sadly, like a queen, condemns them all


RAISON D'ETRE       
First Line: Singed, rent, or whatever


RANSOM       
First Line: Thirty years after the first breakdown
Last Line: Didn't want to go, we don't either


RAPID, IMPOSSIBLE PLACEMENT OF FACT       
First Line: . . . Chinese market salesmen, unnoticed in their inestimable grace
Last Line: The face of man scanning the territory combines will and fate %in a mix so intricate there is no way


READING AFTER A CALL FROM MY EX-WIFE    Poem Text    
First Line: I read a novel in which the main character used etcetera
Subject(s): Divorce; Family Life; Marriage; Relationships; Relatives; Weddings; Husbands; Wives


READING AFTER A CALL FROM MY EX-WIFE       
First Line: I read a novel in which the main character used etcetera
Last Line: Become so again, for a while
Subject(s): Divorce; Family Life; Marriage; Relationships


REAL TIME    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: .. Where hiroshima was, someone said, there's a little star,
Subject(s): Conduct Of Life; Divorce


RECALL       
First Line: Old cadences, cracklings along the sight line
Last Line: The operatics-referring to this


REDBIRD       
First Line: Already this june morning, under the glaucous magnolia


REDNECK RIVIERA    Poem Text    
First Line: We ate at a poor restaurant
Last Line: Like ashes on the lips of the dead
Subject(s): Restaurants; Cafes; Diners


REDNECK RIVIERA       
First Line: We ate at a poor restaurant
Last Line: Like ashes on the lips of the dead
Subject(s): Restaurants


REFUGE    Poem Text    
First Line: Even as you climb the tenement stairs
Subject(s): Tenementsl Despair


RENEWAL: A VERSION       
First Line: I rise to the dismissive woods, tangle of catbrier
Last Line: And I have taken a wife who is slender and black as the night %and she sings to me, oh, she sings to


RESPITE       
First Line: Someone walking in the western dust
Last Line: Almost tender, as above the city %lightning flashed %and the suicides climbed down from the roofs


RIDER    Poem Text    
First Line: This time we are getting drunk on retsina
Subject(s): Family Life; Divorce; Relatives


RIDING IN WATER       
First Line: My memories are common, memories of baseballs
Last Line: When the dangerous world %was simply a white line of wave crest %that the night would erase


RITES       
First Line: As the boy buckling
Last Line: And heaving %& whistling %a tune %about higher - higher -- %fly higher -- %thus our descent begins


RIVER       
First Line: Finally I know who is traveling
Last Line: Looks like crete or portland, or some other place %we never dreamed we'd wind up in


ROMANCE       
First Line: My wife and I make love in the hot
Last Line: To forget the stupid bird- %song and the traffic and what's haywire %and always will be


ROOM 316L       
First Line: Dark in the days locked up
Last Line: Rats run aground %on my bones


RUFFIANS    Poem Text    
First Line: When my father got old, but not too old
Subject(s): Fathers; Aging


RUFFIANS       
First Line: When my father got old, but not too old
Last Line: Stood on the threshold looking at you, without recognition


SANTA MONICA       
First Line: Someone was writing this incredibly personal poem
Last Line: It was a struggle, for both of us, to get to the next part


SCHUBERT IN FLORIDA    Poem Text    
First Line: When you slunk across my dream
Subject(s): Divorce; Grief; Music & Musicians; Sorrow; Sadness


SCHUBERT IN FLORIDA       
First Line: When you slunk across my dream
Last Line: To quell and die down, so he might move on from there


SEGUNDA SEGUNDO, SEL.       
First Line: There is hope in description
Last Line: I want to see the hands of the rain move up the hill %touching and letting to, alluding to everythin


SELF DEFENSE       
First Line: At the resort hotel


SENTINEL       
First Line: Around the family my brother's sure of himself
Last Line: And put a stop to something, somewhere, in some house


SHAME       
First Line: I keep referring to you in transition from
Last Line: And foolishly I haunt the stockyards and the record stores


SLAUGHTER STREET    Poem Text    
First Line: One time years ago a man tried to sell
Subject(s): Children; Abandonment; City & Town Life; Childhood; Desertion


SLAUGHTER STREET       
First Line: One time years ago a man tried to sell
Last Line: And allowed %what they had been keeping to themselves %to pour forth


SMALL SOUND THE NIGHT MAKES       
First Line: Outside my father's house the whippoorwills
Last Line: When the cunning notes come again, you'll think you've heard it


SMARTY PANTS    Poem Text    
First Line: Even the most localized efforts
Subject(s): Love Affairs; Disappointment


SOLO       
First Line: My brother bought a ketch
Last Line: You go out on by yourself, this is life


SOMEONE STILL CAPABLE OF CHANGE       
First Line: Aged mothers gape at television
Last Line: The strong straight torsos jammed into earth, that night erases


SONNET       
First Line: At the track
Last Line: Where he wanted. I cannot pretend %to be asleep. I do not know %whether love can save me


SONS OF SONS       
First Line: That old man was strong, once
Last Line: This. It's happened anyway


SPRUNG    Poem Text     Recitation
First Line: The ministerial shapes of / chinese women
Subject(s): Gardens & Gardening; Family Life; Relatives


SPRUNG       
First Line: The ministerial shapes of %chinese women
Last Line: The boy %missing all those spots, %like I did


STAGE LIGHT       
First Line: Up ahead, beyond a rising foreground that is going
Last Line: Moves still, with the earnest collapsed delicacy %of the convicted, toward his death


STAR       
First Line: When as now I am defeated by love
Last Line: Climbing the subway stairs, someone as yet unknown to you
Subject(s): Stars


STILL THE MOMENT INTENDS TO REPLACE US    Poem Text    
Subject(s): Evening; Loss; Sunset; Twilight


STILL THE MOMENT INTENDS TO REPLACE US       
First Line: Still the moment intends to replace us, the wistful play of dark
Last Line: Across the somber and disappearing pastures


STRAIGHT    Poem Text    
First Line: In all these old photographs sun
Subject(s): Life


STRAIGHT       
First Line: In all these old photographs sun
Last Line: Eternity they don't dream will fail
Subject(s): Life


STRANGERS       
First Line: My father never left his parents
Last Line: Life was too short to learn to love strangers


SUMMERTIME    Poem Text    
First Line: In the u-bet bucko john reading a travel brochure
Last Line: "verything is holy
Subject(s): Summer


SWEETNESS OF A PEACH       
First Line: Somebody must have rummaged in these attic boxes
Last Line: Among the rise and fall of other people's lives


TALKNG AMONG OURSELVES    Poem Text    
First Line: In the rental cottage it comes to me,
Subject(s): Brothers; Family Life; Divorce; Grief; Half-brothers; Relatives; Sorrow; Sadness


TESTAMENT OF WHITE, PART TWO: THE PAST       
First Line: On the georgia island where I was raised


THE CASING    Poem Text    
First Line: For years I sat in bars lying about everything
Subject(s): Lies; Conduct Of Life


THE ESSENTIAL STORY    Poem Text    
First Line: We each wanted our own story, my father and I
Subject(s): Fathers & Sons; Stories


THE FRONT MAN    Poem Text    
First Line: My father was a social man, talking
Subject(s): Fathers


THE LAYOUT    Poem Text    


THE LIGHT SHINING NOW    Poem Text    
First Line: What has begun
Subject(s): Memory


THE MINIATURE CITY    Poem Text    
First Line: The aging family life fades out, subsides
Subject(s): Family Life; Transience; Relatives; Impermanence


THERE IS NO RAILROAD NAMED DELIGHT       
First Line: My great-aunt, a diabetic
Last Line: And feel the kick of death


THERE'S TROUBLE EVERYWHERE    Poem Text    
First Line: There the blind man and his personal dark
Subject(s): Blindness; Homeless; City & Town Life; Visually Handicapped


THERE'S TROUBLE EVERYWHERE       
First Line: There the blind man and his personal dark
Last Line: By the cathedral's not open to our citizens


THIS HOLY ENTERPRISE       
First Line: The troubled entrepreneurs of evening


TOGETHERNESS       
First Line: My brother was quick
Last Line: I promise you, they want to go home


TOO MUCH, NEVER ENOUGH       
First Line: Snow patches on the sea dunes
Last Line: Neither as adornment %or supplication -- %to himself, or itself -- that holiness %is bleak, %even ex


TRANSFORMATION TO WHITE       
First Line: Some stranger's
Last Line: The simplified eloquence %of a humanness %so apparent, so undistilled, %that I cannot resist it


TREASURE       
First Line: I've spent years
Last Line: To lead them by the hand


TWO MEN       
First Line: The day my father had his breakdown, that night
Last Line: Evening soaks the fields, there's almost nothing left


TWO POEMS ABOUT THE CHILDREN: 1. THE CHILDREN ARE VIGOROUS       
First Line: The children are vigorous, apt
Last Line: I don't say anything about it


TWO POEMS ABOUT THE CHILDREN: 2. ROUGH GAMES       
First Line: My brothers have left their lives ajar
Last Line: Speedy lives are all that keep us standing here


VISITATION       
First Line: Fall binds itself, sticks itself loosely in tufts
Last Line: Whatever they see -- a moment ago wasn't there


VOICE       
First Line: My mother didn't go crazy in a day
Last Line: Maybe the voice just kept talking


WALKING HOME THROUGH THE GARDEN       
First Line: The late hollyhocks are stiff and upright, red


WHAT CAN BE UNITED       
First Line: I speak directly of religion now, of the
Last Line: Were white and bare


WHAT THIS STANDS FOR    Poem Text    
First Line: Plum bushes unable to bear
Subject(s): Love - Complaints


WHAT THIS STANDS FOR       
First Line: Plum bushes unable to bear
Last Line: And the dark innuendo everyone calls a love life


WHITE FACES       
First Line: Each new movement - cruising along the salt pond
Last Line: Nodding in the rain - the white faces %of cattle, stones in a field, %the blazing conjury of stars


WHO KNOWS IF THAT WOULD WORK    Poem Text    
First Line: Repititions might work, for example
Last Line: Rounding the bend toot toot
Subject(s): Love – Complaints


WISDOM       
First Line: My father's scared, a nervous, guilty man
Last Line: Is kneeling in it now, yapping at the snow, afraid to move


WITHOUT HAVEN       
First Line: The lights pull the buildings upward
Last Line: It is one of those moments, you think, when, %for a second, one loses heart


WOMAN AS FIGURE       
First Line: Why, when I see the child
Last Line: Planning battles and gaily painted ships %on fire and death sentences only he could rescind


WOMEN OF AMERICA       
First Line: On the pale morning I left town
Last Line: And thus time began to pass, in america


YELLOW POPPIES       
First Line: I'm mortally impatient for the past to catch up to me
Last Line: A way to make herself happy, for a time, out in the dark
Subject(s): Family Life