Poetry Selections
                                 Page 1
 

Making love we assume
may be defined by the equation
for the hyperbola  y = 1/x...

                      From Sex and Mathematics

       

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Poetry Titles
 
 
Page 1

Night Baseball
Hotel Kitchen

Meadowlark

Page 2
Names of Rapids
History...Wedge
Shop Talk
Hell


Page 3
Bombed Haiphong
Visiting Agnes
Peter Rabbit
Full Circle

 

Page 4
Combine
Aesthetics

Alphabet

 

Home

How to Play Night Baseball

  

A pasture is best, freshly

mown so that by the time a grounder’s

plowed through all that chewed, spit-out

grass to reach you, the ball

will be bruised with green kisses.  Start

in the evening.  Come

with a bad sunburn and smelling of chlorine,

water still crackling in your ears.

Play until the ball is khaki—

a moveable piece of the twilight—

the girls’ bare arms in the bleachers are pale,

the heat lightning jumps in the west.  Play

until you can only see pop-ups

and routine grounders get lost

in the sweet grass for extra bases


Poetry Titles
 
 
Page 1

Night Baseball
Hotel Kitchen

Meadowlark

Page 2
Names of Rapids
History...Wedge
Shop Talk
Hell


Page 3
Bombed Haiphong
Visiting Agnes
Peter Rabbit
Full Circle

 

Page 4
Combine
Some Basic Aesthetics

Departure...Alphabet
 


 

 

Hotel Kitchen

  

We never saw the audience we served.

Downstairs in those steel kitchens, in the loud

bucket brigade of orders, pots, and shuttling

of dishes hand-to-hand, you couldn’t hear

the murmurous conversation of the rich

at lunch.  But you could feel them, scented, laundered,

sitting on your head.  You could feel it right

through the floor, feel it so well that when

we ran out of mashed potatoes once

and Cookie skimmed some off a garbage pail,

slapped it on a plate and dealt it off

to Hernandez, the Head Chef,

who flourished sauce on it and shipped it on,

our kitchen practically spluttered to a stop—

a glee we somehow managed to tie up

the moment the manager strolled in.

I juggled the bakery’s steel blow and pans.

My buddy, Frank, tackled the garbage-can-size

stew pots, wept his sweat back in them

as he’d disappear head-first, wrestling them

down to reach the bottom

and bark the black crust.

Once you’ve served below the ground like that,

making the world materialize graciously above,

where hunger is a problem in chamber music—

once you’ve made chamber music in the kitchen,

if you love chamber music, you must love it

knowing what it means.

                                                            --for Jason


 

Western Meadowlark

 

 Through the open car window

Seven needles in a haystack

BoPEEP-doodle-our-PEOple!

snatched by ear out of the moving

prairie, like you

already fading, passed, gone.

BoPEEP-doodle-our-PEOple!

If I could find it, it would be

points of sunlight glancing

off a brooch so near shades

of gold in these moving

grasses I could scarcely distinguish

it from the grasses.  Like you

it is always gone.

 

 BoPEEP-doodle-our-PEOple!

The bird pulled it off like a string

of catches on this flying

trapeze which keeps swinging

back.  If birds’ songs simple mean

I’m here!  I’m here!

then why a song so baroque?

How many notes did it have?

Which notes were extra?

 

In the Beatles’ “Blackbird”

You can hear a meadowlark, its song

canned as the slow-motion replay

of a pass reception on TV:

Love studied into pornography.

BoPEEP-diddle-diddle-her-PEEP-hole!

The bird falls off a see-saw,

hesitates, picks itself

back up on the rising board,

completes its song.

It does it again.

                                  

I prefer the song that eludes me,

This one which we are passing,

Banjo music picked out

Through wind and distance

Already falling behind

  

Gone and not gone. 

                                       --for Ana

 

 

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