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Author: merrill, james
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Merrill, James G.   
8 poems available by this author


BABY BOY BATH RITUAL       
First Line: The mother will ask him - he's 2 and a half - if
Last Line: He will say: 'daddy's pee-pee, my pee-pee
Subject(s): Masculinity (psychology)


DAYS OF 1964       
First Line: Houses, an embassy, the hospital
Last Line: As who was not, in laughter, pain, and love


MAD SCENE       
First Line: Again last night I dreamed the dream called laundry
Last Line: As the lean tree burst into grief


MIRROR       
First Line: I grow old under an intensity
Last Line: Echo of mine, I am amenable


OCTOPUS       
First Line: There are many monsters that a glassen surface
Last Line: At length the sucking jewels freeze


SCENES OF CHILDHOOD       
First Line: My mother's lamp once out
Last Line: You are the heroes without name %or origin


TONY: ENDING THE LIFE       
First Line: Across the sea at alexandria
Last Line: Just you head, nodding off in window-glass
Subject(s): Aids (disease); Sickness


URBAN CONVALESCENCE       
First Line: Out for a walk, after a week in bed
Last Line: Out of the life lived, out of the love spent



Merrill, James Ingram    Poet's Biography
510 poems available by this author


16.IX.65       
First Line: Summer's last half moon waning high
Last Line: Return with honey on our drunken feet


164 EAST 72ND STREET       
First Line: These city apartment windows -- my grandmother's once
Last Line: When ceilings flush with unheard ambulances


18 WEST 11TH STREET (HOUSE EXPLODED BY 'WEATHERMEN' .. 1970)       
First Line: In what at least %seemed anger the aquarians in the basement
Last Line: Toy blocks. Church bells. Original vacancy %o deepening spring


1939       
First Line: Madame! %and the earth opened
Last Line: I still could not help feeling


642719       
First Line: I will not dial that number, never fear
Last Line: It will be another voice you hear


ABDICATION       
First Line: First I looked at water. It was good
Last Line: Now do) and place it smartly on his own


ABOUT THE PHOENIX       
First Line: But in the end one tires of the high-flown
Last Line: Away from whatever waited to be endured?


ACCUMULATIONS OF THE SEA       
First Line: The hand with a seagull purpose falls upon
Last Line: Is vibrant and the sea again unsounded


ACROSTIC       
First Line: Take first some pleasure in the maker's
Last Line: Language one grew radiant %erasing


AFTER CAVAFY       
First Line: Why is the rising sun aflutter from ten thousand flagpoles?
Last Line: Were some sort of golden opportunity, but we blew it


AFTER GREECE    Poem Text    
First Line: Light into the olive entered
Subject(s): Greece; Greeks


AFTER GREECE       
First Line: Light into the olive entered
Last Line: Also survive its meanings, and my own
Subject(s): Greece


AFTER THE BALL       
First Line: Clasping her magic
Last Line: My subway token


AFTER THE FIRE       
First Line: Everything changes; nothing does. I am back
Last Line: Am kneeling pressed to her old burning frame


AFTERNOONS AT THE NOH       
First Line: Plays of unself. Peel off the maiden pearl-diver to find her mother's
Last Line: Absorb the patience and piety needed to bring the moonlight back?


ALABASTER       
First Line: The original word
Last Line: Through the dry channel of a starless night


ALESSIO AND THE ZINNIAS    Poem Text     Recitation
First Line: One summer -- was he eight
Subject(s): Flowers; Gardens & Gardening


ALESSIO AND THE ZINNIAS       
First Line: One summer -- was he eight
Last Line: Never wear orange or pink
Subject(s): Flowers; Gardens And Gardening


AMSTERDAM       
First Line: There is a city whose fair houses wizen
Last Line: To blind with the emotions they refract!


ANGEL       
First Line: Above my desk, whirring and self-important
Last Line: There is no smile on his round, hairless face. %he does not want even these few lines written


ANNIE HILL'S GRAVE       
First Line: Amen. The casket like a spaceship bears her
Last Line: The silence drums into her upturned face


ANOTHER APRIL       
First Line: The panes flash, tremble with your ghostly passage
Last Line: Along your path will have laid their foreheads in the dust


ANOTHER AUGUST       
First Line: Pines. The white, ocher-pocked houses. Sky unflawed. Upon so much
Last Line: And asked no favor but to act the part


ANOTHER CEMETERY       
First Line: We pass it on our descent from the temple. The gravestones are vertically
Last Line: Tered by a touch. Any fragrance meanwhile eludes me. Have I caught cold?


ANOTHER POSTSCRIPT       
First Line: Like someone blind from infancy
Last Line: They are so worn by time and lit by grace


ARABIAN NIGHT       
First Line: Features unseen embers and tongs once worried
Last Line: Forth in one likeness


ARCLIGHT       
First Line: By day unlit, the magic helmet keeping
Last Line: Wings battering the naught it makes to shine


ARRIVAL IN TOKYO       
First Line: Our section of town is roppongi, where thirty years ago I dined in w's
Last Line: Branches burns moon-bright


ART DEALER       
First Line: Because I hoped to come by, when you died
Last Line: Yet one more proof of his appalling taste


ASCENDANCY OF CHILDREN       
First Line: For weeks, for years perhaps, they have been playing
Last Line: And will not long be borne by the naked eye


ASK FOR NOTHING       
First Line: Instead walk alone in the evening
Last Line: Whitened in moonlight leads everywhere


AT A TEXAS WISHING-WELL       
First Line: Stranger, look down (the jingle said) & you
Last Line: Let me love myself until I die


AT MAMALLAPURAM       
First Line: The site relives its tender monotone
Last Line: More longed-for and more alien than our own


AUTUMN ELEGY       
First Line: Sumac, your running wild
Last Line: To that of the young demi-god camus


BAG OF PEANUTS FOR JOHN HOLLANDER       
First Line: As the double feature began, so did you to un
Last Line: The future's dirt spectaculars


BANKS OF A STREAM WHERE CREATURES BATHE       
First Line: Through slits in the plantain leaf
Last Line: Downstream with the stars


BATH POEM       
First Line: The wrinkled hand, like one already soaked
Last Line: With consciousness of the whole dirty hoax


BED       
First Line: Where do we go, my love, who have been led
Last Line: For one strange sleeper. It is time we slept


BEGINNER'S GREEK       
First Line: To one %who smells the sun
Last Line: May never be hurt or happy or anything too much


BEQUEST       
First Line: My sorrow was a little child
Last Line: My happiness, my happiness


BETWEEN US       
First Line: A - face? There %it lies on the pillow
Last Line: Watching it unclench with a soft moan %and reach for you


BIG MIRROR OUTDOORS       
First Line: Specter, inside with you where you belong
Last Line: Out that horrifying, harmless dream


BIRTHDAY       
First Line: Beloved dog, in from the wet
Last Line: Tell me I will live another year


BLACK MESA       
First Line: So much is parchment where I gloom
Last Line: Dust of my dust, when will it all be plain?


BLACK SWAN       
First Line: Black on flat water past the jonquil lawns
Last Line: In anguish: I love the black swan


BLUE       
First Line: Dawn. I was just walking
Last Line: Of dirty smoke, and the day


BLUE AND BLUE       
First Line: In mid-june the light hangs on until I think
Last Line: Under a sky that quickens into blue and blue


BLUE GROTTO       
First Line: The boatman rowed into
Last Line: Years passed, and I wrote this


BODY       
First Line: Look closely at the letters. Can you see
Last Line: And what the b and d stood for


BROKEN BOWL       
First Line: To say it once held daisies and bluebells
Last Line: Love's monuments like tombstones on our lives


BROKEN HOME       
First Line: Crossing the street, %I saw the parents and the child
Last Line: With the unstiflement of the entire story, %watch a red setter stretch and sink in cloud
Subject(s): Divorce


BROKEN HOME, SELS.       
First Line: My father, who had flown in world war I
Last Line: At three score ten. But money was not time


BROKEN HOME, SELS.       
First Line: When my parents were younger this was a popular act
Last Line: Father time and mother earth, %a marriage on the rocks


BRONZE       
First Line: Birdsong. May. Tuscany. A house. Sunset
Last Line: As much as I could bear


BUNRAKU       
First Line: The very river has stopped during koganosuke's
Last Line: In gloom. Did love reach out your %arm then? Sorrow? Sleep?


CANDID DECORATOR       
First Line: I thought I would do over
Last Line: And laughed until I wept


CARPET NOT BOUGHT       
First Line: World at his feet
Last Line: Over a small waved sea


CASEWORKER       
First Line: Door by door, story by story
Last Line: And rumor of a river


CASTAWAY       
First Line: The letters you no longer write
Last Line: Someone else to save me if not you


CATCH-ALL       
First Line: Here you came, poor armoire
Last Line: By forms that sprang from him


CHANGING LIGHT AT SANDOVER, SELS.       


CHANNEL 13       
First Line: It came down to this: that merely naming the creatures
Last Line: Launched at hour's end in the snug electronic ark of %what has been


CHARIOTEER OF DELPHI       
First Line: Where are the horses of the sun?
Last Line: Uncurbed in us, where fires are fanned
Subject(s): Art And Artists; Delphi; Sculpture And Sculptors


CHARLES ON FIRE    Poem Text    
First Line: Another evening we sprawled about discussing
Subject(s): Perception


CHARLES ON FIRE       
First Line: Another evening we sprawled about discussing
Last Line: He filled a fresh glass and sank down among us
Subject(s): Perception


CHILD OF THE EARTH       
First Line: They call you here. The scorpion's
Last Line: Light the book where both our names are written


CHILDLESSNESS       
First Line: The weather of this winter night, my dream-wife [or, mistress]
Last Line: Has fallen onto the shoulders of my parents %whom it is eating to the bone


CHIMES FOR YAHYA       
First Line: Imperiously ringing
Last Line: Their told tale with the children's doggerel


CHINESE POEM       
First Line: In the course of many lives before this one
Last Line: Turning to seed the weightless moon shines through


CHRISTMAS TREE       
First Line: To be %brought down at last
Last Line: Receptive. Still to recall, to praise
Subject(s): Christmas Trees


CLEARING THE TITLE       
First Line: Because the wind has changed, because I guess
Last Line: Juggled slowly by the changing light


CLOUD COUNTRY       
First Line: How like a marriage is the season of clouds
Last Line: Supple and green, these actions of the sun


CONSERVATORY       
First Line: Nothing is not so wasted, my dear wastrel
Last Line: For the fighter less than for the skilled beholder


CORNWALL       
First Line: Wind clear and heavy as a paperweight
Last Line: The other frosted, near empty, exhaling joy


COSMO       
First Line: Because you are a terrier %- 'earth-dog,' a digger
Last Line: Timelessness passing. Man and his best friend


COSMOLOGICAL EYE       
First Line: Vivid to the myopic is the blue
Last Line: The mirror that numbs him. It is his ultimate eye
Variant Title(s): The Blue Ey


COUNTRY MUSIC       
First Line: Catbirds have inherited the valley
Last Line: A doorway yawns. A willow weeps. The end


COUNTRY OF A THOUSAND YEARS OF PEACE       
First Line: Here they all come to die
Last Line: Without a death, its finish and sharp weight %flashing in his own hand
Subject(s): Lodeizen, Hans (1924-1950); Switzerland


CROCHETED CURTAIN       
First Line: The zany interplay %of thread and motive, oh
Last Line: Hooked into them by bone


CRUISE       
First Line: Poor little agnes cried when she saw the iceberg
Last Line: Briefly appeased what it could not oppose


CUPID       
First Line: You are one wild boy
Last Line: Hand in glove with him


CURRENT       
First Line: Down the dawn-brown %river the charcoal woman
Last Line: Would not be going %to let it happen yet


DANCING, JOYOUSLY DANCING       
First Line: And all throughout a breughel matinee
Last Line: And for three days such was the dancing there


DAVID'S NIGHT IN VELIES       
First Line: Into the flame godmother put her hand
Last Line: Slow claw raised in blessing or farewell


DAVID'S WATERCOLOR       
First Line: Dusk. The old cloaked shepherd of terracotta
Last Line: High in space, sunlit (the one source we still trust) glimmers a new moon


DAY OF THE ECLIPSE       
First Line: Summer, until today, burned thought
Last Line: To the least pressure of a shaping hand


DAY ON THE CONNECTICUT RIVER       
First Line: The billionth-or-so dawn
Last Line: Transaction noted here, in part - %up and away


DAYS OF 1935       
First Line: Ladder horned against moonlight
Last Line: Well. Those were the days


DAYS OF 1941 AND '44       
First Line: The nightmare shower room. My tormentor leers
Subject(s): Gays & Lesbians; Homoeroticism; Lesbians; Gay Women; Gay Men


DAYS OF 1941 AND '44       
First Line: The nightmare shower room. My tormentor leers
Last Line: Between whose lines it has been life to read
Subject(s): Homosexuality


DAYS OF 1964       
First Line: Houses, an embassy, the hospital
Last Line: As who was not, in laughter, pain, and love


DAYS OF 1971       
First Line: Fallen from the clouds, well-met
Last Line: Little horse, still blushing, set to cool
Subject(s): Love - Loss Of


DAYS OF 1994       
First Line: These days in my friend's house
Last Line: The laughter of old friends


DEAD CENTER       
First Line: Upon reflection, as I dip my pen
Last Line: In now's black waters, burn the stars of then


DECLARATION DAY       
First Line: Shiners dance counter to the tide
Last Line: Possession of the old, primed walls


DEDICATION       
First Line: Hans, there are moments when the whole mind
Last Line: Lightly and humbly against the angel's hand


DELFT       
First Line: What's left? No place
Last Line: Even nowadays %small figures drown


DESERT MOTEL WITH FROG AMULET       
First Line: Fairweather thunder smote. Who then
Last Line: And tall erosions rippled what it faced


DEVELOPERS AT CRYSTAL RIVER       
First Line: Elysian glade - %roilings, upshudderings
Last Line: Back on earth find words for - a rueful, chaste, %unshaven kiss


DIARY OF THE DUC DE L***       
First Line: On such a day even the sun stops, even
Last Line: Stars and wet fountains, back to her laugh and the world


DIVINE COMEDIES, SELS.       


DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE       
First Line: Honestly now! Another white house scandal
Last Line: Haunt this house once white as a blank sheet


DOMINO       
First Line: Delicious, white, refined
Last Line: He'll miss those sparkling dregs


DONALD'S NEIGHBORHOOD       
First Line: Narrow streets, lined with pots: wistaria, clematis, bamboo. (can that be
Last Line: Gray, smooth, chill curve. His flesh a %single fly explores


DOODLER       
First Line: Most recent in the long race that descends
Last Line: Emerge, o sunbursts, garlands, creatures, men, %ever more lifelike out of the white void!


DOOR       
First Line: It is hard going to the door
Last Line: As the lady's skirt %moves small beyond it


DOWNWARD LOOK       
First Line: Seen from above, the sky
Last Line: Happens upon the plug


DOZEN       
First Line: Circling the island
Last Line: From above the waves


DREAM: ESCAPE FROM THE SCULPTURE MUSEUM AND WAKING       
First Line: Softening the marbles, day
Last Line: Our sleeps of stone, our wakenings


DREAMING IN SWEDISH       
First Line: The snow is falling on the tall pale reeds
Last Line: If only we could fit the letters to each other


DREAMS ABOUT CLOTHES       
First Line: In some, the man they made
Last Line: Don't you care how we live?


DROWNING POET       
First Line: The drowning poet hours before he drowned
Last Line: Five-finger exercises: a compliment %to all accomplishment


DUNES       
First Line: To have a self, even of salt and sand!
Last Line: Soon even they were lost behind the dunes


DUST AND MEMORY       
First Line: A small unshaven man, perhaps fifty
Last Line: Warm still in the fire of your care


EARLY SETTLERS       
First Line: Finally two of them go high up to live
Last Line: A leathery god or two, crouched there for warmth


ECONOMIC MAN       
First Line: Perhaps it is being off the gold standard
Last Line: To his original value in the vault


EDWARD LIEBERMAN, ENTREPRENEUR, FOUR YEARS AFTER THE BURNING       
First Line: The light sifts down from the naked bulb
Last Line: Became his act, but because it came to this


EIGHT BITS: 1. LASER MAJESTY       
First Line: Light show at the planetarium
Last Line: Breathes wendy. Yes, and he was chewing gum


EIGHT BITS: 2. IF U CN RD THS       
First Line: U cn gt a gd jb w hi pa!
Last Line: This counterspell may save your soul


EIGHT BITS: 3. VOLTAIRE: A STATUE OF CHRIST IN JESUIT ATTIRE       
First Line: Admire these monks' excessive art
Last Line: Lest someone take you to his heart


EIGHT BITS: 4. ANAGRAM/ANAGRAMME       
First Line: Here pasolini lies, decorum's foil
Last Line: Son corps devenant pain, ses cris devenus lois


EIGHT BITS: 5. LIPSTICK, 1935       
First Line: At aunt pearl's kiss the pointed head
Last Line: Looked like our labrador, aroused


EIGHT BITS: 6. SNAKE PIT       
First Line: Uplands. The dead of winter. Yet you've seen
Last Line: And baptist ranchers where to dynamite


EIGHT BITS: 7. TO AN ACTOR ON LOCATION FOR A FILM ...       
First Line: Who live a life so charmed, time and again
Last Line: Your first night back in town. My place at nine?


EIGHT BITS: 8. A BIT OF BLUE TILE ON THE BEACH       
First Line: Fragments like this, my sunshine, fall
Last Line: When you flash from your shower stall


ELECTRA: A TRANSLATION       
First Line: Cold step by step
Last Line: Face the first music. Sleep.'


EMBARKATION SONNETS       
First Line: Across the limelit balconies of sleep
Last Line: Know our farewell, know what farewell, is like


EN ROUTE       
First Line: The needle on the gauge
Last Line: Under the curse or blessing of no love


ENTRANCE FROM SLEEP       
First Line: To wake into the afternoon for you
Last Line: And all shade is what music we have rung


ENVOI       
First Line: As I crossed the lot next door, one page I wrote
Last Line: The song half sung thrust back into my throat


ENVOYS       
First Line: The scurrier of the courtyard
Last Line: And how you bound him close and set him free


EPITHALAMIUM       
First Line: Look! In full view, the woman's hands at his throat
Last Line: Trucks of the garment district, passers-by


ESCAPE       
First Line: To come to life in detroit is to be manufactured
Last Line: How much you made them pay so I could love


EUROPA       
First Line: The air is sweetest that a thistle guards
Last Line: Smiling, a bridal in the wastes of pearl


FAMILY WEEK AT ORACLE RANCH       
First Line: The world outstrips us. In my day
Last Line: Ask what that cold comfort means to her


FEBRUARY 14TH       
First Line: Awakening at dawn thirty- %six years ago, I see
Last Line: Six weeks, %and the wide world is green


FEVER       
First Line: Two nights with her and I have caught the virus
Last Line: I savor the thin paints upon my tongue


FIFTEENTH SUMMER       
First Line: Scrambling with a book
Last Line: Those mornings what they weighed


FIGURES IN A LEGENDARY GLADE       
First Line: When the picnic-basket lovers who had been dangling
Last Line: Committed to doom, denial, airier things


FIRE POEM       
First Line: How unforgettably the fire that night
Last Line: Forgot the blissful nester in its flame


FIVE INSCRIPTIONS: 1. WITH A GREEK COIN (HEADS, ATHENA IN PROFILE       
First Line: The face of love is very old
Last Line: Until it turns to gold


FIVE INSCRIPTIONS: 2. COPIED ONTO THE THING ITSELF       
First Line: Although the gingko's older far
Last Line: This leaf is art nouveau


FIVE INSCRIPTIONS: 3. IN A NOTEBOOK FROM DELPHI       
First Line: Apollo's whim %consulted as to stephen
Last Line: Bespoke a volume even %slimmer than him


FIVE INSCRIPTIONS: 4. ON A PHOTOGRAPH OF THE AUTHOR PRESENTED TO HIS       
First Line: New wrinkles I daresay
Last Line: Made the old master smile


FIVE INSCRIPTIONS: 5. WITH A FOUNTAIN PEN       
First Line: Together half in love and half in pain
Last Line: Where hearts are humbled, words are vain


FIVE OLD FAVORITES: 1. A DREAM OF OLD VIENNA       
First Line: The mother sits, the whites of her eyes tinted
Last Line: Many a cozy evening round the lamp


FIVE OLD FAVORITES: 2. THE MIDNIGHT SNACK       
First Line: When I was little and he was riled
Last Line: Burns into my turned back


FIVE OLD FAVORITES: 3. SUNDOWN AND STARLIGHT       
First Line: He licks the tallest tree, and takes a bite
Last Line: Than care for him. She opens her jewel case


FIVE OLD FAVORITES: 4. EVENT WITHOUT PARTICULARS       
First Line: Something will be hanging from the ceiling
Last Line: For others, roses of linoleum


FIVE OLD FAVORITES: 5. THE DANDELION SERMON       
First Line: In the heat of a sentence I stopped. You waited
Last Line: A white haze not at once or ever with ease construed


FLECHE D'OR       
First Line: Windowglass, warmed plush, a sneeze
Last Line: Meet and nothing lasts and nothing ends


FLINT EYE       
First Line: The matriarch with eyes like arrowheads
Last Line: And a race of sober children learns long smiles


FLYING FROM BYZANTIUM       
First Line: The hour has come. I'm heading home
Last Line: Page, hesitated, dipped his pen


FOLIAGE OF VISION       
First Line: As landscapes richen after rain, the eye
Last Line: Time and disaster and the limping blood


FOR A BESTIARY: 1. CARP       
First Line: Bread on the waters.' would %such literary crusts
Last Line: Of letters we once knew) %here sleep the appetites


FOR A BESTIARY: 2. SPELL       
First Line: Three times a triple strand
Last Line: - and yourself in, no doubt, %for a shock or two


FOR A BESTIARY: 3. MONDAY MORNING       
First Line: Hot sun on duval street %bicycling very slowly
Last Line: To fix that unseraphic %duo within my vision


FOR A SECOND MARRIAGE       
First Line: Orchards, we linger here because
Last Line: Concentric rings, those many marriages %that life on each living thing bestows
Variant Title(s): Upon A Second Marriag
Subject(s): Love - Marital; Marriage


FOR PROUST       
First Line: Over and over something would remain
Last Line: The world will have put on a thin gold mask


FORMAL LOVERS       
First Line: The windowframe behind the blind
Last Line: Dark is the perfect thing we have


FORT LAUDERDALE       
First Line: Listless old women %fiber faces the thin milk
Last Line: Self-effacement on both sides %of the looking-glass


FOUNTAIN IN DISUSE: ATHENS       
First Line: Thunder? A distant footfall? Has somebody
Last Line: Will not have been withheld much longer, or in vain


FOUR LITTLE POEMS: 1. PROCESSION       
First Line: Virgins and kings: the very fields aquiver
Last Line: As girls love daisies, love dismembers hours


FOUR LITTLE POEMS: 2. PORTRAIT       
First Line: A youth last seen by an undecipherable
Last Line: Through what he sees as distance


FOUR LITTLE POEMS: 3. PARABLE       
First Line: After the child laughed, and the emperor
Last Line: And naked down the avenues they went


FOUR LITTLE POEMS: 4. PROVERB       
First Line: And so at winter's end her perennial bounty
Last Line: Fixed in indifference, tree in the tight urn


FRIEND OF THE FOURTH DECADE       
First Line: When I returned with drinks and nuts my friend
Last Line: To greet the perfect stranger


FROM 'THE BROKEN HOME'       
First Line: Small beyond great swaying glooms
Last Line: It is the house of dreams


FROM A NOTEBOOK       
First Line: The whiteness near and far
Last Line: Turns. A new day. Fresh snow


FROM MORNING INTO MORNING       
First Line: Foxglove, larkspur have morning by the throat
Last Line: One blue bloom missing. It has become our flesh


FROM THE CUPOLA       
First Line: The sister who told fortunes prophesied
Last Line: These letters. Show me, light, if they make sense


FROM THE CUTTING-ROOM FLOOR       
First Line: Thanks, dr. Williams, my throat feels better already
Last Line: Revise, rise, shine! Good ah my children night!


FULL MOON: LETTER TO T       
First Line: Under your bald spell who could prevent
Last Line: By which I arrive at saying so


FURNISHED ROOM       
First Line: Blue boughs, green fruit
Last Line: What no one else could wreak %on the room's myth


GADFLY TRIOLETS       
First Line: Three packs a day %simply won't do
Last Line: You are life's clear-%eyed, smiling rhyme


GARONCE       
First Line: Think small. My scene no sooner lit
Last Line: Both of us moved in one breath by %the hidden god


GEIGER COUNTER       
First Line: Pictures on a wall: %a view of fuji challenged
Last Line: What about this morning's blinding outburst?


GETTING THERE       
First Line: Early august, hours west of omaha
Last Line: At once, without harmony or reason


GETTING THROUGH       
First Line: I wrote the postcard to you and went out
Last Line: I hear with joy, helpless to understand, %cries of snow-crimson children leaving school


GINGER BEEF       
First Line: Soon to attain its famous afterglow
Last Line: In mute, in mortal weariness, alone


GOTHIC NOVEL       
First Line: How rich in opportunity! Part of a wall
Last Line: Put down the book unread. The tale is done


GRACE       
First Line: All this is very tiring
Last Line: Each night's rain fell unheard


GRAFFITO       
First Line: Deep in weeds, on a smooth chunk of stone
Last Line: He held the fate of nations in his fist


GRAND CANYON       
First Line: It is still early, yet
Last Line: In one of our highest courts


GRAPE CURE       
First Line: For two days feed on water. The third morning
Last Line: The gold cannot be pity, nor ivory charity


GRASS       
First Line: The river irises
Last Line: And ten more years -- fifteen? %from disappearing


GREAT EMIGRATION       
First Line: On the low road to skye
Last Line: History of slow-motion joys and grievances %under remote control


GREEN EYE       
First Line: Come, child, and with your sunbeam gaze assign
Last Line: Things you shall live among, things seen, things known


GREENHOUSE       
First Line: So many girls vague in the yielding orchard
Last Line: So none shall tempt, when she is gone


HELP       
First Line: Louis leroy, gentleman's gentleman
Last Line: Into our hearts at last, and know their place?


HER CRAFT       
First Line: Elizabeth bishop - swan boat or
Last Line: De pire, if I may say so. Less is more


HERE TODAY       
First Line: Looking up from my draft
Last Line: To live, or be living still without my knowing, %here, today


HILL       
First Line: It is some time since I have been
Last Line: Which is in me %like a hill


HINDU ILLUMINATION       
First Line: T loping down the stairs at mellifont
Last Line: The mahout's gaze, upon me all this while
Subject(s): Elephant-drivers; Hinduism; Religion


HOME FIRES       
First Line: I peered into the crater's heaving red
Last Line: (extinct? I wonder.) love, empedocles


HOSPITABLE TRANSLATORS       
First Line: Here in soho %the tabletop sticks
Last Line: Out in the meat sauce


HOTEL DE L'UNIVERS ET PORTUGAL       
First Line: The strange bed, whose recurrent dream we are
Last Line: Sleep, by a strange bed in the dark of dreaming


HOURGLASS       
First Line: Alone, one can but toy with imagery
Last Line: Love only is replenishment of halves


HOURGLASS (2)       
First Line: Dear at death's door when you stand
Last Line: Blessed each other heart to heart


HOUSE       
First Line: Whose west walls take the sunset like a blow
Last Line: Beyond my seeing. At a glance they wake


HOUSE FLY       
First Line: Come october, if I close my eyes
Last Line: Distinct from both the blessing and the blight


HUBBELL PIERCE: 1925-1980       
First Line: Well and good to take the fortune, life
Last Line: In your odd moments upon gold, pure gold


ICECAP       
First Line: Yes, melting changes
Last Line: Wear it, milady %in your frosted hair


IDEA       
First Line: If when you're old and musing
Last Line: Hardens to iteration %of nothing if not light


IDEAS       
First Line: Charles and xenia are discussing them
Last Line: Has brought our evening concert to a close


ILLUSTRATIONS       
First Line: Slide upon slide, %transparencies of nile and sphinx
Last Line: Back to the source. The soul %will keep her vow


IMAGE MAKER; A PLAY IN ONE ACT       
First Line: I am the santero manuel
Last Line: What next? What next?


IMAGINING IT       
First Line: Paul phones to say goodbye. He's back in new york two days early, but
Last Line: - bon voyage! Write! - upon their final honeymoon


IN MONUMENT VALLEY       
First Line: One spring twilight, during a lull in the war
Last Line: Little more to speak of can be done
Subject(s): Animals


IN NINE SLEEP VALLEY       
First Line: Trying to read in nature's book
Last Line: Sorry things all. Accepting them's the art


IN THE DARK (1)       
First Line: Come, try this exercise
Last Line: Begin to glow


IN THE DARK (2)       
First Line: In the last light of a summer day facing the canadian shore
Last Line: Are watching from above, I do gown on my knees in prayer


IN THE HALL OF MIRRORS       
First Line: The parquet barely gleams, a lake
Last Line: No tracks have ever crossed


IN THE PINK       
First Line: From under a duvet the pink of dunes
Last Line: A tear from either spring's lighthearted blue


IN THE SHOP       
First Line: Out came the most fabulous kimono of all
Last Line: May be read as having emerged triumphant from the vats of night


INDIA: THE DANCE OF GIVING       
First Line: Stranger, you go from tomb
Last Line: Your last blind way alone


INSTILLING       
First Line: All day from high within the skull
Last Line: The dreamless gulf between two shoulder blades


INTRODUCTION TO THE MEDIA       
First Line: ...Or take tv, where relatively crude
Last Line: All us kids got they fail-safe color sets.'


ISLAND IN THE WORKS       
First Line: From air seen fathom-deep
Last Line: Now who did that?


JUAN BURNING THE DIARY       
First Line: It is time. The fire crackles. Drugged by heat
Last Line: And in transparent effigy, the years blaze


KEY WEST AQUARIUM: THE SAWFISH       
First Line: Before our day, what had the sawfish seen
Last Line: Love's but a dream and only death is kind


KIMONO       
First Line: When I returned from lovers' lane
Last Line: Bordered with rushes white on blue


KITCHEN KNIGHT       
First Line: O my white armor, my copper or stainless steel
Last Line: My code constrains me to do what I can


KITE POEM       
First Line: One is reminded of a certain person
Last Line: And kissed and kissed, as though to escape on a kite


KOI       
First Line: Snow today, the first in seven years
Last Line: Is barking - he's losing his footing - he's fallen in!


KOMBOLI (THE GREEK 'WORRY-BEADS')       
First Line: Begin. Carnation underfoot, tea splashing stars
Last Line: Out of time? These beads - o marble counter -- done
Variant Title(s): Kombolo


KOSTAS TYMPAKIANAKIS       
First Line: Sit, friend. We'll be drinking and I'll tell you why
Last Line: Who could have imagined such a life as mine?


KYOGEN INTERLUDE: AT THE BANK       
First Line: It is by now clear that the poor flushed clerk - a trainee's badge on his
Last Line: From paul's service thinking. Nobody has to live


KYOTO       
First Line: Daybreak. Brightest air
Last Line: To die without assurance of a cult was the supreme calamity
Subject(s): Hearn, Lafcadio (1850-1904); Kyoto, Japan


KYOTO: AT THE DETACHED PALACE       
First Line: Struck by the soft look
Last Line: Long after fall of night %retains a twilight


LABORATORY POEM       
First Line: Charles used to watch naomi, taking heart
Last Line: Easy in the presence of her lover


LAME DUCKS, MCKESSON & ROBBINS, 1945       
First Line: Late friday afternoon in the final year
Last Line: I'd be good for nothing but to tell you this


LANDSCAPE WITH TORRENT       
First Line: Thus far he has not seen her, a spoke
Last Line: As though nothing had happened


LANDSCAPE WITH VW       
First Line: This votive spansule driven at top speed
Last Line: Sanctuary hurt into blossom, healed by it


LAST MORNINGS IN CALIFORNIA       
First Line: Another misty one. These opaline
Last Line: Shutting the lid in a twinkling he'll be gone


LAST WORDS       
First Line: My life, your light green eyes
Last Line: And lives to tell you so


LAWN FETE OF HOMUNCULUS ARTIFEX       
First Line: Moisten me, press me %mold me to tumbler, to tin
Last Line: Of my three billion closest friends.'


LECTURE: THE SKELETON       
First Line: Nude but for sun %we see the skeleton
Last Line: Dust of that ilk, and unappeasable


LENSES: 1. CONTACTS       
First Line: Light as parentheses, your scales
Last Line: Of love and dreams


LENSES: 2. MICROSCOPIC       
First Line: The club is tiny, hard to locate. No
Last Line: You up, enucleate your inmost eye's %nostalgie du protoplasme


LENSES: 3. TELESCOPE       
First Line: Mark tonight's variation maggiore. Lento
Last Line: And earn this dusty corner of his legend


LENSES: 4. CAMERA       
First Line: Eyes wild, hair midnight-tangled, robe in disarray
Last Line: Print her next likeness in your own red dark


LETTER FROM EGYPT       
First Line: When our son died
Last Line: Our loss, which is your gain


LIGHT OF THE STREET, DARKNESS OF YOUR OWN HOUSE'       
First Line: Fused wires of wit, benighted attic
Last Line: Beams of the first unquenchable luster pour


LISTEN CAREFULLY       
First Line: My sister rises from our bed hours before dawn
Last Line: The one who's wrong. You haven't heard a word


LITTLE FALLACY       
First Line: Chamber of blossom, not a petal spilled
Last Line: With no one killed


LITTLE FANFARE FOR FELIX MAGOWAN       
First Line: Up beyond sense and praise
Last Line: During your first days


LLANTO       
First Line: Plum, almond, cherry have come and gone
Last Line: That will not sing, that will not even talk


LOCUSTS       
First Line: The plain dries outward from its heart
Last Line: Rain wakes you, pounding on the door


LOG       
First Line: Then when the flame forked like a sudden path
Last Line: What could be made of you but light, and this?


LOOK ASKANCE       
First Line: Skyward mazes %rise at right angles to a downstream
Last Line: Jotted down on stone


LORELEI       
First Line: The stones of kin and friend
Last Line: Deepens the lines begun upon your face


LOSING THE MARBLES       
First Line: Morning spent looking for my calendar
Last Line: The risen, cloudy brilliances above


LOST IN TRANSLATION; FOR RICHARD HOWARD       
First Line: A card table in the library stands ready
Subject(s): Poetry & Poets; Rilke, Rainer Maria (1875-1926); Translating & Interpreting; Verlaine, Paul (1844-1896)


LOST IN TRANSLATION; FOR RICHARD HOWARD       
First Line: A card table in the library stands ready
Last Line: To shade and fiber, milk and memory
Subject(s): Poetry And Poets; Rilke, Rainer Maria (1875-1926); Translating And Interpreting; Verlaine, Paul (1844-1896)


LOVER BY FULL MOON       
First Line: Before he undergoes %what he must, let all be stripped
Last Line: Made by the cricket's voice %acting on indigo oxygen


LOVERS       
First Line: They met in loving like the hands of one
Last Line: These waited, and would issue from his hands


LUNCH WITH A SCHOLAR       
First Line: Waters lowering, lion and red vole
Last Line: Volumes unspoken, for the dove to light


MAD SCENE       
First Line: Again last night I dreamed the dream called laundry
Last Line: As the lean tree burst into grief
Subject(s): Laundry And Laundering


MAGPIETY       
First Line: You pull over to the shoulder
Last Line: Everything is speaking or singing. %we're still here


MAISIE       
First Line: One morning I shall find
Last Line: Leaving the newcomer aghast and weak


MANDALA       
First Line: Ok. I see a whirlpool
Last Line: Garrulous as you, dear, time will tell


MANOS KARASTEFANIS       
First Line: Death took my father
Last Line: From my island, and the sea's %voice in a shell


MARSYAS       
First Line: I used to write in the cafe sometimes
Last Line: That no one could have told you what he sang


MASTER AND MAN       
First Line: Services that can be bought
Last Line: Of my train de vie


MATINEES    Poem Text    
First Line: A gray maidservant lets me in
Subject(s): Opera


MATINEES       
First Line: A gray maidservant lets me in
Last Line: Ever gratefully, your little friend
Subject(s): Opera


MCKANE'S FALLS       
First Line: The great cold shoulders bared
Last Line: Come live within me, said the waterfall


MEDUSA       
First Line: The head, of course, had fallen to disrepair
Last Line: We raise our quivering swords and think to kill
Subject(s): Medusa; Mythology - Classical


MEN'S SONG AT WEDDING       
First Line: Tjokele's woman - ayiii! %they have dressed her in rattan raiment
Last Line: As the dugong timorous, as the peewee cute


MENU       
First Line: Dawn. Mist for the grill. As our visual purple
Last Line: Clutched its bed for dear life, knuckles white


METRO'       
First Line: One level below street, an airless tank
Last Line: And in its place, o memory! A bank


MIDAS AMONG GOLDENROD       
First Line: Divine uncultivation, and look, invariably
Last Line: Is he protected? Yes. But mischievously


MIDSUMMER EVENING ON THE PRINSENGRACHT       
First Line: It's late. The sun %gone down, the scene remains
Last Line: As if, still thinking out their story, %to ask for time


MINOTAUR       
First Line: A young one who'd have thought
Last Line: Depends who tells the tale


MIRABELL'S BOOK OF NUMBERS       
First Line: Oh very well, then. Let us broach the matter
Last Line: Look! Look into the red eye of your god!


MIRROR       
First Line: I grow old under an intensity
Last Line: Echo of mine, I am amenable


MONTH       
First Line: Sun-up off easterly casings prints a first
Last Line: Left to unriddle her new name, and wake


MORE BITS: 1. THE POEM AS CRUTCH       
First Line: Be that as it may, there are some few I've hung
Last Line: I reached for a gnarled rhyme to steady me


MORE BITS: 2. WOMAN LEAVING SHOP       
First Line: That was clarissa dalloway!
Last Line: Made up three times a day


MORE BITS: 3. IN CARAVAGGIO'S STUDIO       
First Line: The boy's lips parting, a ripe fruit
Last Line: Sleep took him. Morpheus with his loot


MORE BITS: 4. PEOPLE WILL TALK       
First Line: Awesome. The nitty-gritty. Wannabes
Last Line: Make an appointment for a facial peel


MORE BITS: 5. APRIL IN ATHENS       
First Line: The young cycladic goddesses
Last Line: If only they had bodices


MORE BITS: 6. REST HOME       
First Line: They've given up everything - affection, strife
Last Line: Scarred, infirm, consumed by it: %addicts of life


MORE BITS: 7. LIFE IN THE MEZZOGIORNO       
First Line: Silenzio? Solitudine? Cried the family's
Last Line: And clattering out of the room


MORE BITS: 8. WORD MADE FLESH       
First Line: Dronning. It's the danish word for queen
Last Line: I'm farther out than you think, and not waving but dronning.'


MORE BITS: 9. HOW LONG?       
First Line: The lawyer pursed his lips: 'well now, let's see...'
Last Line: We shared a vision of attornity


MORE ENTERPRISE       
First Line: A sideways flicker, half headshake of doubt
Last Line: Into the grave I'll wear that yes of theirs


MORE OR LESS       
First Line: Nature copies art, said oscar wilde
Last Line: Their sad know how, their fingertip control


MORNING EXERCISE       
First Line: Poem, neat pseudonym
Last Line: Aux fraises at the old grad


MORNING GLORY       
First Line: The bud a foreskin? More so as it wilts
Last Line: Connecticut man found in state of grace


MORNINGS IN A NEW HOUSE       
First Line: And still at dawn the fire is lit
Last Line: His pleasure and the doll's are one


MOSQUITO       
First Line: The sheet strains and pulls loose
Last Line: Of the faint siren song


MOUTHPIECE       
First Line: Might and must now cast upon the hearth
Last Line: Translated by it, blind with salt


MUSIC FROM ABOVE       
First Line: Lying, looking up %at the perfectly white ceiling
Last Line: Of all has lighted and dissolved, of all


MY BROTHER ABEL, THE WOUNDED       
First Line: He drew our future in the dirt
Last Line: Winter sleep he never wakened from


MY FATHER WITH CIGARETTE TWELVE YEARS BEFORE THE NAZIS COULD       
First Line: I remember the room in which he held
Last Line: How close the moon, how utterly silent the piano


MY FATHER'S IRISH SETTERS       
First Line: Always throughout his life
Last Line: Love follows, pen in hand


MY MOTHER WITH PURSE THE SUMMER THEY MURDERED THE SPANISH       
First Line: Had she looked out the window she would have seen a quiet street
Last Line: Above granada where all time stopped. Her purse snaps shut


MY SISTER'S VOICE       
First Line: Half asleep in my chair, I hear
Last Line: The day broke over eveything


NARROW ESCAPE       
First Line: During a lull at dinner the vampire frankly
Last Line: Is now a classic in our particular circle


NAVARINO       
First Line: No sleepy harbor is a dream come true
Last Line: Risen to cool it in your can of wine


NIGHTGOWN       
First Line: A cold so keen
Last Line: And give it form


NIKE       
First Line: The lie shone in her face before she spoke it
Last Line: Beneath a ceiling washed by her reflected snows


NINE LIVES       
First Line: The ancient comic theater had it right
Last Line: An old tom skirts it. The world's his tonight


NO BUYERS       
First Line: Two books in spanish
Last Line: Hatch into smaller and newer %eggs and nobody buys


NO WORD       
First Line: The river flowing from you
Last Line: To its narrow bed


NOVELETTES       
First Line: We have settled into this resort hotel
Last Line: Piping, trying to reach me. And wake unafraid. He will


NOVEMBER ODE       
First Line: The blow has fallen, or dear dim local grocery
Last Line: When speaking american - sounds like that of the people


OCTOPUS       
First Line: There are many monsters that a glassen surface restrains
Last Line: Till on glass rigid with his own seizure %at length the sucking jewels freeze
Subject(s): Octopuses


ODE TO MRS. WILLIAM SETTLE       
First Line: In lake forest, a suburb of chicago
Last Line: Are one though never meant to be


OLD TESTAMENT       
First Line: My twin brother swears that at age thirteen
Last Line: Tear stained, bloodied, begging for a moment's peace


OLIVE GROVE       
First Line: The blue wave's slumber and the rocky brow
Last Line: Uneasy for its melting images


ON THE BLOCK: 1. LAMP, TERRACOTTA BASE, U. S., CA. 1925       
First Line: If when you're old and musing
Last Line: Light for the likes of you


ON THE BLOCK: 2. MANTEL CLOCK, IMITATION SEVRES       
First Line: Time, passing, glances at the clock
Last Line: Child, think well of me, or try. %I must be going.'


ON THE BRIDGE       
First Line: Leaves burn green %over the stupid little wooden bridge
Last Line: Will not recoil, feeling the deck grow hot


ON THE MEETING OF GARCIA LORCA AND HART CRANE       
First Line: Brooklyn, 1929. Of course crane's
Last Line: What an imagination arthur had


ONE DAY       
First Line: Everyone knows that the trees will go one day
Last Line: Into a day that never ended


OPAGUE MORNING       
First Line: Cold mottles gray and lichen mustard
Last Line: That have soaked downward into it


OPERA COMPANY       
First Line: The impresario %consigned to the pit
Last Line: Before the curtains part


ORACLE       
First Line: Suddenly as of today %the weeping beech in the next garden
Last Line: What is not driven where it means to go?


ORANGES       
First Line: His mother wore, as in a fairy tale
Last Line: One bright dusk up he sauntered, undismayed


ORFEO       
First Line: Ah downward through the dark coulisse
Last Line: Having become perpetual


OUT BY DARK       
First Line: If you take the two-lane highway from tetuan to fez
Last Line: A feather of velvet closed down, an eyelid of magpie


OUZO FOR ROBIN       
First Line: Dread of an impending umptieth
Last Line: To stop it, stamping with displeasure


OVERDUE PILGRIMAGE TO NOVA SCOTIA       
First Line: Your village touched us by not knowing how
Last Line: Gathering phrases for tomorrow's cards


PACT WITH THE ASTROLOGER       
First Line: Suppose I put aside %my past unwound
Last Line: The life written in blood


PAGE FROM THE KORAN       
First Line: A small vellum environment
Last Line: Letters so handled they are life, and hurt, %leaving the scribe immune?


PALM BEACH WITH PORTUGUESE MAN-OF-WAR       
First Line: A mile-long vertebrate picked clean
Last Line: Ease from the dry breast and sheet in foam


PARDONER'S TALE       
First Line: Writing to kill, whose wiles
Last Line: Will have a better lover


PARNASSIANS       
First Line: Theirs was a language within ours, a loge
Last Line: Our scorn and sound investment of their tips


PARROT       
First Line: I am impatient of the myth that numbs
Last Line: To stillness in the bestial night


PARROT FISH       
First Line: The shadow of the little fishing launch
Last Line: And throwing back its head the sea began to sing


PART OF THE VIGIL       
First Line: ...Shrinking to enter, did. Your heart
Last Line: Blaze on? You might yet see it, see by it. %nothing else mattered


PAUL VALERY: PALME       
First Line: Veiling, barely, his dread
Last Line: To grow at any cost


PEACOCK       
First Line: I speak to the unbeautiful of this bird
Last Line: Lone angels round each human grave
Subject(s): Birds


PEARL       
First Line: Well, I admit
Last Line: Where an unconscious world, my yawning oyster, %shuts on it


PEELED WANDS       
First Line: Peeled wands lead on the pedophile. Give me
Last Line: Eternal oaths it swore with a salt-grain


PELICAN       
First Line: Squatter on water, ingenuous fisherman
Last Line: From air to emptier water dive


PERFUME       
First Line: Ticklish no longer %with tangibility
Last Line: Now that you suffer it


PERIWINKLES       
First Line: You have seen at low tide on the rocky shore
Last Line: Then we grow old, her lunacy prevails
Subject(s): Periwinkle


PERSPECTIVES OF A LONESOME EYE       
First Line: In a green twilight the avenues of our love
Last Line: Bound by perspectives, we are loosed by love
Subject(s): Solitude


PETER       
First Line: Right arm: a many-splendored
Last Line: Aglow down pristine faces only now %seeing the light


PHENOMENAL LOVE SONG       
First Line: Look sharp, love, for here
Last Line: Love, keep your eye peeled


PHILIP LARKIN: 1922-1985       
First Line: He's gone somewhere %but left his writing
Last Line: - vacant now? Unwary %reader, all yours


PHOTOGRAPHY       
First Line: My aunt yetta sleeps, her mouth hanging open, her eyes
Last Line: While a name hangs in the brilliant morning air


PIECES OF HISTORY       
First Line: Depressions visible from the air
Last Line: To the beclouded cortex which impelled his drift


PIER: UNDER PISCES       
First Line: The shallows, brighter, %wetter than water
Last Line: The bite. The tug of fate


PIPE DREAM       
First Line: Perfectly still. Yet smoke
Last Line: Simply to heel in the garden, not %shown the gate


PLEDGE       
First Line: House on alert %sun setting in a blaze
Last Line: I drink to you apart %in that champagne


POEM IN SPRING       
First Line: Being born of earth, we've come to sit
Last Line: Such curious vividness begin


POEM OF CHALK       
First Line: On the way to lower broadway
Last Line: Below the sea shell's stiffening cry


POEM OF SUMMER'S END       
First Line: The morning of the equinox
Last Line: Each learns to read at length the other's gaze


POETS AT HOME       
First Line: Yoo-hoo! This way, dear reader, I so hoped
Last Line: Please wright - I'll just lie down with a wet pack


POLA DIVA (AFTER CHRISTIAN AYOUB)       
First Line: Sensational effects have subtle causes
Last Line: Knows to have been the phanar's nightingale
Variant Title(s): Pola Diva (after Ayoub Sinano


PONCHIELLI COMPLEX       
First Line: Husbands, by my time, dozed beneath the gilt
Last Line: That brings the house down and him backstage grinning


POWER STATION       
First Line: Think back now to that cleft
Last Line: The blind delirium that still utters it


PREFACE TO THE MEMOIRS       
First Line: Angrier than my now occasional
Last Line: From the eruptions of a court whose pageants %these deeply-pitted features chronicle


PRESS RELEASE       
First Line: Now comes word that a new synthetic substance
Last Line: For the next deep breath. My hand. Hold. Concentrate


PRIMER       
First Line: A final lassitude, of snapdragons
Last Line: Naming the creatures to their latest-born


PRISM (A PAPERWEIGHT)       
First Line: Having lately taken up residence
Last Line: The day is breaking someone else's heart
Variant Title(s): Pris


PROCESSIONAL       
First Line: Think what the demotic droplet felt
Last Line: Once again turns (load, goad) to gold


PYROXENES       
First Line: Well, life has touched me, too
Last Line: To-be of hard, scarred sense, %strangers to fire


QUATRAINS FOR PEGASUS       
First Line: Breakfast over, to memorial park we'd go
Last Line: Don't let it, I begged the horses, get any worse


RADIO       
First Line: Behind grillwork (buff plastic
Last Line: Has never stopped playing our song


RADIOMETER       
First Line: At sunrise on a pin
Last Line: Not this one. Look: the setting sun, my friend


RAIN       
First Line: All night the sound had
Last Line: Be wet %with a decent happiness


RECONNAISSANCE       
First Line: Up from the ranks a body volunteers
Last Line: Far from the sirens' call


REMORA       
First Line: This life is deep and dense
Subject(s): Fish & Fishing; Anglers


REMORA       
First Line: This life is deep and dense
Last Line: In heavenly sunshine to the corpse a slight %tormented self,live, dapper, black-and-white
Subject(s): Fishing And Fishermen


RENEWAL       
First Line: Having used every subterfuge
Last Line: Love buries itself in me, up to the hilt


RESCUE       
First Line: Dusk. Rain over but asphalt hissing
Last Line: And heaved me into a green haven.'


RETURN: ORIHUELA, 1965       
First Line: You come over a slight rise
Last Line: The fields whisper their courage


REVIVALS OF TRISTAN       
First Line: The loving cup was poisoned
Last Line: And huge wings clap in bliss


RHAPSODY ON CZECH THEMES       
First Line: A mauve madness has overrun moravia
Last Line: Seasoned wood as witnesses


RING' CYCLE       
First Line: They're doing a ring cycle at the met
Last Line: A son till now undreamed of -- makes to rise
Subject(s): Composers; Opera; Wagner, Richard (1813-1883)


RIVER POEM (1)       
First Line: This old man had lavender skin, a handkerchief
Last Line: But the river stayed at our side, and shone, and ran


RIVER POEM (2)       
First Line: This old man had lavender skin, a handkerchief
Last Line: But the river did not vanish, or not then at least


RIVER TRIP       
First Line: Short walk through fields to soft-drink stand
Last Line: Step ashore, in our clumsiness hoping not to spill these brief impressions


ROGER CLAY'S PROPOSAL       
First Line: I may be oversusceptible to news
Last Line: No one can say it will not. No one can


ROMANCE LANGUAGE       
First Line: When first in love I breakfasted by water
Last Line: Although I tell the god's own truth, or try to


ROOM AT THE HEART OF THINGS       
First Line: Two rooms, rather, one flight up, half seen
Last Line: Proves itself in the bright way of stars


ROUGH SCHEME FOR AN EON IN THE ALPS       
First Line: One day in autumn an old god sees red
Last Line: Instead of feasting on his effigy


SAINT       
First Line: Wanting foreknowledge of eternity
Last Line: Eternity refusing to begin


SALOME       
First Line: No wonder, shaggy saint, breast-deep in jordan's
Last Line: Back into earth, the easier school


SAMOS       
First Line: And still, at sea all night, we had a sense
Last Line: Before the seeds here planted come to light


SANCTUM       
First Line: Another proscenium. At its threshold we sit
Last Line: Smoke, praying for dear %life


SANTO       
First Line: Francisco on his shelf %wreathed in dusty wax
Last Line: The sick white dog got well %- and that was all it took!


SANTORINI: STOPPING THE LEAK       
First Line: Five sessions of god willing lethal x
Last Line: For a black beach, a tavern in the shade


SCENES OF CHILDHOOD       
First Line: My mother's lamp once out
Last Line: You are the heroes without name %or origin


SCHOOL PLAY       
First Line: Harry of hereford, lancaster, and derby'
Last Line: All unsuspecting into the masters' hands


SCRAPPING THE COMPUTER       
First Line: Like countless others in the digital age, I seem
Last Line: On which already he's composed these lines


SCRIPTS FOR THE PAGEANT       
First Line: Cup glides from board. Sun dwindles into sound
Last Line: Hold it back hear me brothers I and mine


SEASIDE DOORWAY, SUMMER DAWN       
First Line: Hot low notes undulate the stave
Last Line: The other upon passage through its frame


SELF-PORTRAIT IN TYVEK (TM) WINDBREAKER       
First Line: The windbreaker is white with a world map
Last Line: To keep the blue wave dancing in its prison


SERENADE       
First Line: Here's your letter the old portable
Last Line: And stars appear instead of periods


SEVENTH ROUND       
First Line: Give it to him!
Last Line: Drop your own. Take
Subject(s): Sports


SIESTAS OF AN ARCHITECT       
First Line: Those afternoons you'd wake
Last Line: It is still falling through black air


SILENCE       
First Line: No coffin without nails
Last Line: Al least is golden


SIMPLE TRUTH       
First Line: I bought a dollar and a half's worth of small red potatoes
Last Line: In a form we have no words for, and you live on it


SMILE       
First Line: It was going to rain
Last Line: He turned his face and died


SNAPSHOT OF ADAM       
First Line: By flash in sunshine 'to reduce contrast'
Last Line: Posed never long or nakedly enough


SNOW JOBS       
First Line: X had the funds, the friends, the plan
Last Line: But where's the slush of yesteryear?
Subject(s): Politics; Snow


SOME NEGATIVES: X AT THE CHATEAU       
First Line: Where skies are thunderous, by a cypress walk
Last Line: If the lens winks, it winds them who knows where


SONG       
First Line: Gretchen wishes she weren't blonde
Last Line: Awed, and dreaming of renown


SOUL       
First Line: In castelldefels we say, there are four thousand souls
Last Line: Souls, some alone, some in pairs, huddle in their beds and pray


SPANISH LESSON       
First Line: In an overstuffed chair, trotsky sits half asleep
Last Line: Let the dead rise, let sr. Ruiz question the wind


STONES       
First Line: To a head at daybreak
Last Line: Before our journey's end


STORM       
First Line: Rock: control yourself! I've been shattered
Last Line: Ah, how that flattered %my self-esteem


STRATEGIES       
First Line: Halfway around the globe from paul the worst keeps dawning on us. We
Last Line: Take for model a cone of snow with fire in its bowels


STRATO IN PLASTER       
First Line: Out of the blue, in plaster from wrist to bicep
Last Line: I felt no pain at first


SUMMER PEOPLE       
First Line: On our new england coast was once
Last Line: And felt his way down in dark


SUPPLIANT       
First Line: Tiny, half-blind life %crouched by the marble stoop
Last Line: That least of mercies came %to the right door


SURVIVAL       
First Line: I have forgotten how. I try to wake
Last Line: His silvering muzzle towards your perfect calm


SUSPENSE OF LOVE       
First Line: No greater turbulence than light restores
Last Line: Until with morning glories it stands overcome


SWIMMING BY NIGHT       
First Line: A light going out in the forehead
Subject(s): Swimming & Swimmers


SWIMMING BY NIGHT       
First Line: A light going out in the forehead
Last Line: Of waves, their length and sparkle, the spinning globe %you wear, and the star running down his chee
Subject(s): Swimming


SYRINX       
First Line: Bug, flower, bird of slipware fired and fluted
Last Line: Or stop the four winds racing overhead %nought %waste -- eased %sought


TABLE TALK       
First Line: Food!' exclaims charles. 'each new dish I have tried
Last Line: Were here to tell me: go ahead, my son, enjoy the feast!


TENANCY       
First Line: Something in the light of this march afternoon
Last Line: May others be at home in it


THE 'RING' CYCLE    Poem Text    
First Line: They're doing a ring cycle at the met
Subject(s): Composers; Opera; Wagner, Richard (1813-1883)


THE BROKEN HOME    Poem Text     Recitation
First Line: Crossing the street, / I saw the parents and the child
Subject(s): Divorce


THE CHARIOTEER OF DELPHI       
First Line: Where are the horses of the sun?
Subject(s): Art & Artists; Delphi; Sculpture & Sculptors; Castri


THE COUNTRY OF A THOUSAND YEARS OF PEACE    Poem Text    
First Line: Here they all come to die
Subject(s): Lodeizen, Hans (1924-1950); Switzerland; Swiss


THE MAD SCENE    Poem Text    
First Line: Again last night I dreamed the dream called laundry
Subject(s): Laundry & Laundering


THE OCTOPUS    Poem Text    
First Line: There are many monsters that a glassen surface restrains
Subject(s): Octopuses


THE PEACOCK    Poem Text    
First Line: I speak to the unbeautiful of this bird
Subject(s): Birds


THE VICTOR DOG    Poem Text    
First Line: Bix to buxtehude to boulez / the little white dog on the victor label
Subject(s): Animals; Dogs; Music & Musicians; Sound Recordings; Trademarks; Phonograph Records; Recordings; Records; Audiodiscs; Discography


THESE EARLY VERSIONS OF DESIRE       


THINK TANK       
First Line: Because our young were drab
Last Line: Our servant, huge and blind


THISTLEDOWN       
First Line: First clan of autumn, thistleball on a stem
Last Line: Air at a breath blown!


THOUSAND AND SECOND NIGHT       
First Line: Istanbul. 21 march. I woke today
Last Line: He slept through moonset, woke in blinding sun, %too late to question what the tale had meant


THREE CHORES: 1. WATER BOILING       
First Line: When polly's reddening hand
Last Line: The kitchen from the hill!


THREE CHORES: 2. NIGHT LAUNDRY       
First Line: Of daily soilure laving
Last Line: Bring the new day to light


THREE CHORES: 3. ITALIAN LESSON       
First Line: It will not do luigi
Last Line: To certain other lessons hard to learn


THREE SKETCHES FOR EUROPA: 1. THE TOURIST       
First Line: Now henry (said his aunt) take care
Last Line: Go now. But do not stay too long


THREE SKETCHES FOR EUROPA: 2. GEOGRAPHY       
First Line: The white bull chased her. Others said
Last Line: And she no longer chaste but continent


THREE SKETCHES FOR EUROPA: 3. AT THE BULLFIGHT       
First Line: Deep in the gaunt mask arenas blaze
Last Line: And urged him into the foam with gentle phrases


TIME       
First Line: Ever that everest
Last Line: Whose diamond grates in the revolving silence


TIMEPIECE       
First Line: Of a pendulum's mildness, with her feet up
Last Line: For soon by what it tells the clock is stilled


TO A BUTTERFLY        Recitation
First Line: Already in midsummer / I miss your feet and fur
Subject(s): Butterflies; Insects; Bugs


TO A BUTTERFLY       
First Line: Already in midsummer %I miss your feet and fur
Last Line: Wiles gather dust. Each will have flown %the other's jail
Subject(s): Butterflies; Insects


TO A POCKET CALCULATOR       
First Line: Quiz kid, %behavior's midget
Last Line: And lift its heart out, live but paper-thin


TO MY GREEK       
First Line: Dear nut %uncrackable by nuance or debate
Last Line: The barest word be what I say to you


TO THE READER       
First Line: Each day, hot off the press from moon & son
Last Line: Tomorrow, truer, harder to get right


TOMORROWS       
First Line: The question was an academic one
Last Line: Fun, some may morning between five and six


TONY: ENDING THE LIFE       
First Line: Across the sea at alexandria
Last Line: Just your head, nodding off in windowglass


TOPICS: 1. CASUAL WEAR       
First Line: Your average tourist: fifty. 2.3
Last Line: Signed with a flourish, like the dead wife's jeans
Variant Title(s): Casual Wea


TOPICS: 2. POPULAR DEMAND       
First Line: These few deep strongholds. Each with generator
Last Line: For you with cordial venom. Damn you, drink!


TOPICS: 3. CAESARION       
First Line: A glow of cells in the warm sea
Last Line: By force of habit to her breast


TRADE       
First Line: Crouching down in the loud morning air
Last Line: Angelic, an ordinary man become a gift


TRANSFIGURED BIRD       
First Line: That day the eggshell of appearance split
Last Line: And slept and would not till nearly dusk be woken


TREES LISTENING TO BACH       
First Line: Overture. A shutter opens. Down
Last Line: On the used plate a wash of silver dries


TRELLIS       
First Line: Again, ramshackle skeleton
Last Line: Will be replaced after a season or two


TRISTAN       
First Line: In all sorts of weather tristan
Last Line: At all times, it urges me out to sea


TSIKOUDHIA       
First Line: Given us through a misunderstanding
Last Line: That drinks as yet no dying of its own


TWO DOUBLE DACTYLS: 1. ABOVE ALL THAT?       
First Line: Higgledy-piggledy %mary of magdala
Last Line: Simple amoeba or gasteropod.'


TWO DOUBLE DACTYLS: 2. NEO-CLASSIC       
First Line: Higgledy-piggledy %jacqueline kennedy
Last Line: Go home, u.S.'


TWO FROM FLORIDA: 1. GREEN COVE SPRINGS       
First Line: Aqua concrete has girdled this inveterate
Last Line: It joins the st. Johns river to the sea


TWO FROM FLORIDA: 2. THE DRESDEN DOLL       
First Line: Mis' annie looks just like a dresden doll
Last Line: For what I simply can no longer say


TWO POEMS FOR DAVID KALSTONE: 1. INVESTITURE AT CECCONI'S       
First Line: Caro, that dream (after the diagnosis)
Last Line: Miles away, sick, fearful - have yet arranged this %heartstopping present
Variant Title(s): Investiture At Cecconi'
Subject(s): Aids (disease); Sickness


TWO POEMS FOR DAVID KALSTONE: 2. FAREWELL PERFORMANCE    Poem Text    
First Line: Art. It cures affliction. As lights go down and
Variant Title(s): Farewell Performance
Subject(s): Aids (disease); Gays & Lesbians; Sickness; Homoeroticism; Lesbians; Gay Women; Gay Men; Illness


TWO POEMS FOR DAVID KALSTONE: 2. FAREWELL PERFORMANCE       
First Line: Art. It cures affliction. As lights go down and
Last Line: Seen where it led you
Variant Title(s): Farewell Performanc
Subject(s): Aids (disease); Homosexuality; Sickness


UNDER LIBRA: WEIGHTS AND MEASURES       
First Line: The stones of spring
Last Line: These autumn feathers. Learned


UNDER MARS       
First Line: Cricket earphones fail us not
Last Line: Though such as we have made them what they are


UP AND DOWN: 1. SNOW KING CHAIR LIFT       
First Line: Prey swooped up, the iron love seat shudders
Subject(s): Gays & Lesbians; Homoeroticism; Lesbians; Gay Women; Gay Men


UP AND DOWN: 1. SNOW KING CHAIR LIFT       
First Line: Prey swooped up, the iron love seat shudders
Last Line: We gazed our little fills at boundlessness
Subject(s): Homosexuality


UP AND DOWN: 2. THE EMERALD    Poem Text    
First Line: Hearing that on sunday I would leave
Subject(s): Gays & Lesbians; Homoeroticism; Lesbians; Gay Women; Gay Men


UP AND DOWN: 2. THE EMERALD       
First Line: Hearing that on sunday I would leave
Last Line: The world beneath the world is brightening
Subject(s): Homosexuality


UPSET       
First Line: Drowsing in bed alone, quite thoughtless of nights
Last Line: First things - the lamp supposes, prone %yet burning wildly on


UPWARD LOOK       
First Line: O heart green acre -- sown with salt
Last Line: From inmost depths -- of clear dark blue


URBAN CONVALESCENCE       
First Line: Out for a walk, after a week in bed
Last Line: Out of the life lived, out of the love spent


VALENTINE IN CRAYONS       
First Line: As the masque went on sehnsucht was seen to change
Last Line: The moon face patted rigid as it dries


VARIATIONS AND ELEGY: WHITE STAG, BLACK BEAR       
First Line: ...And chiefly shone, %set in red gold upon his forefinger
Last Line: Speak of its capture as a man who has never been ill %tells everywhere of disease


VARIATIONS: THE AIR IS SWEETEST THAT A THISTLE GUARDS: 1       
First Line: The air is sweetest that a thistle guards
Last Line: Nets that bind back, garland the hungering wave


VARIATIONS: THE AIR IS SWEETEST THAT A THISTLE GUARDS: 2       
First Line: Midsummer spreads the ticklish mullein leaf
Last Line: And this is good for lovers to remember


VARIATIONS: THE AIR IS SWEETEST THAT A THISTLE GUARDS: 3       
First Line: Flowers are people
Last Line: Insist that each latest %is safest, is sweetest


VARIATIONS: THE AIR IS SWEETEST THAT A THISTLE GUARDS: 4       
First Line: When at midnight jane took off her mask,
Last Line: And the thistles took my hand when I reached for them


VARIATIONS: THE AIR IS SWEETEST THAT A THISTLE GUARDS: 5       
First Line: Three days I wept in the snow, feet bare
Last Line: Became at once of pure pearl made


VARIATIONS: THE AIR IS SWEETEST THAT A THISTLE GUARDS: 6       
First Line: Friday. Clear. Cool. This is your day. Stendhal
Last Line: Is sweetest there. The air is very sweet


VERSE FOR URANIA       
First Line: Through the dimness, curtains drawn, eyes closed
Last Line: Flooding both levels with the same sunrise


VICTOR DOG       
First Line: Bix to buxtehude to boulez %the little white dog on the victor label
Last Line: No honey for the vanquished? Art is art. %the life it asks of us is a dog's life
Subject(s): Animals; Dogs; Music And Musicians; Sound Recordings; Trademarks


VIEW OF THE BURNING       
First Line: Righteous or not, here comes an angry man
Last Line: On which to feast, grinning ourselves, I fear


VIOLENT PASTORAL       
First Line: Against a thunderhead's
Last Line: And was not turned to stone


VISION OF THE GARDEN       
First Line: One winter morning as a child
Last Line: Joy outstretched in our bodies' place


VOICES FROM THE OTHER WORLD       
First Line: Presently at our touch the teacup stirred
Last Line: Nor the full moon more quick to chill


VOL. XLIV. NO. 3       
First Line: Room set at infrared
Last Line: Joy? The tree sparkles on which it sill die


VOLCANIC HOLIDAY       
First Line: Our helicopter shaking like a fist
Last Line: With earth's repose and heaven's masquerades


WALKING ALL NIGHT       
First Line: Now each has climbed to the uninhabitable
Last Line: Those cloths aside, your sleep is what I know


WALKS IN ROME       
First Line: Little has changed. Of the buildings -- tufted clay
Last Line: Remember that. Who loves you? Write. Keep well


WATCHING THE DANCE: 1. BALANCHINE'S       
First Line: Poor savage, doubting that a river flows
Last Line: Be still. Observe the powers. Infer the stream
Subject(s): Balanchine, George (1904-1983); Ballet; Dancing And Dancers


WATCHING THE DANCE: 2. DISCOTHEQUE       
First Line: Having survived entirely your own youth
Last Line: A teenage plankton luminously twitch
Subject(s): Dancing And Dancers


WATER HYACINTH       
First Line: When I was four or so
Last Line: It would in sixty years %so vividly congest


WATERSPOUT       
First Line: Where foam-white openwork
Last Line: Looks down and keeps his head


WE WALK IN WOODS       
First Line: Of our own words
Last Line: I make a silence, briefly?


WHITEBEARD ON VIDEOTAPE       
First Line: Indigo, magenta, color of ghee
Last Line: Along with being holy, life was hell


WHO GUESSED AMISS THE RIDDLE OF THE SPHINX       
First Line: In the night my great swamp-willow fell
Last Line: Is gone, as if for having blocked a path


WILL       
First Line: I am standing among the coal black
Last Line: Leaving to lovers' lips %all further argument


WILLOW       
First Line: If not, why should the willow bend? It bends
Last Line: Past blood and tissue where remembrance lies
Subject(s): Willow Trees


WILLOWWARE CUP    Poem Text    
First Line: Mass hysteria, wave after breaking wave
Subject(s): China (porcelain)


WILLOWWARE CUP       
First Line: Mass hysteria, wave after breaking wave
Last Line: Tilted honeycombs, thunderhead blue
Subject(s): China (porcelain)


WINTER WORDS, MANHATTAN       
First Line: When the young farm laborer
Last Line: To me before I found it, %would I cry and for whom


WINTERING WEEDS       
First Line: At last through a deprived dusk we felt
Last Line: In the stunned road waking beneath his feet


WORDS FOR MARIA       
First Line: Unjeweled in black as ever comedienne
Last Line: Across a brow of faint lines powdered tuberose


WORDS FOR THE FAMILIAR SPIRIT       
First Line: The tongues leap on the summit of your will
Last Line: Bubble, the quetzal floating up and up


WORLD AND THE CHILD       
First Line: Letting his wisdom be the whole of love
Last Line: Falls on the child awake and wearied of


WREATH FOR THE WARM-EYED       
First Line: Flowers inside the thirteen-year high walls
Last Line: Outplayed, play out his patience quite alone


YAM       
First Line: Rind and resurrection, hell and seed
Last Line: Against-inhuman-odds-I-celebrate


YANNINA       
First Line: Somnambulists along the promenade
Last Line: Buried in his by then snow white beard


ZENO REMINDED OF A FAMILY QUARREL       
First Line: As for continuance of the race
Last Line: Has not caught up with me, and never will!'