Wednesday, November 10, 2010

To Maxine Kumin

Between equinoxes stars fall and all the year in miniature

the way 1972 became 1974
see: I can’t quit remembering

reading Ez while waiting to sail, "set keel to breakers, forth"

on the ungodly bridge, railroad tracks where water should be
the bearded poet dreams a song he is dying in, and does

I read They Feed They Lion mourning the Dream Songs

driving east . . . you, her best friend, drove into the country
to say either I went or you would, I said I would

and did, having drunk and talked my fill, mourning still

Ez died like Roethke but later, and Levine then the best
to my ear, rightfully so I bleared, and meeting Adam

led to confronting the animals he had named, a bar full:

Roethke had the Blue Moon, I had Quicksilver, the Drake
and a wife too beautiful and too proud to put up with this

she moved south to Springfield and danced herself to sleep

and I tried, I stopped, I sat still all that summer Nixon hung
until the others swung and he was due to swing separately

and when it was time to leave, Goodbye

her best friend had done all she could, she started the car
inside the garage, suicided, soul rising as the body falls

–John Berryman, Anne Sexton, selah!

and what do I owe in apology never to be accepted,
Maxine . . . can I meet you where country ends and

city begins? or was being between my blessing, my curse?

(17 October 2010)

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