Townie

Your fear of corruption is a fear of thought, / Therefore you would be thoughtless. Think again.

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Poetry

I, too, like it / more than many other things. // The way it enters / without knocking and is there.

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Clearing

It was when I walked lost/ in the burn and rust/ of late October that I turned/ near dusk toward the leaf-screened/ light of a green clearing in the trees.

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Moishe's Horse

How could a poor man salvage / From Castle Privilege // Orts and scraps of excess / With a dead horse in harness?

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Danzig 1932

All I have of the last visit to Germany, / my father keen to show his New World bride, / is this photo: a sleek lad and his father…

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The Loon's Cry

The red, the blue, the argent queen. If not, / What subtlety would apparition have? / In flat appearance we should be and be, / Except for delicate clinkings not explained.

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The Riddle

You contemplate the package but don't open it. / You aren't frightened. You are simply postponing / the pleasure of opening it.

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The Return

The deed took all my heart. / I did not think of you, / Not till the thing was done. / I put my sword away, / And then no more the cold / And perfect fury ran / Along my narrow bones…

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A Sentimental Delusion

When our hands touched, my darling, suddenly I heard / the ticking of tinny tales, and the only words \ left in the room were ours. I looked, and the hard \ lights of twelve new machines turned on me and stared.

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Listening to the Earth

We’d heard the prophets speak, / knew well their eloquent thunder, the split stone / and urgent whirlwind of their voice and word…

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The Catch

I, in my chair, make shift to say / Some bright, discerning thing, and fail, / Proving once more the blindness of the male. / Annoyed, she stalks away

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Departure of the Ghost

At this joint between two worlds and two entirely / Incompatible modes of time, the raw material / Of our meat-and-potato thoughts assumes the nimbus / Of ambrosial revelation. And so departs.

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Description Without Place

The red, the blue, the argent queen. If not, / What subtlety would apparition have? / In flat appearance we should be and be, / Except for delicate clinkings not explained.

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The Legend of the One-Eyed Man

Like Oedipus I am losing my sight. / Like Judas I have done my wrong. / Their punishment is over; / the shame and disgrace of it / are all used up. / But as for me, / look into my face / and you will know that crimes dropped upon me . . .

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