Car

C
Los Vatos by José Montoya
José Montoya
Back in the early fifties el Chonito and I were on the
Way to the bote when we heard the following dialogue:

Police car radio:Pachuco rumble in progress in front of Lyceum
Theatre. Sanger gang crossing tracks heading for
Chinatown. Looks big this time. All available
Westside units . . .

Cop to partner driving car:
Take your time. Let ’em wipe each other out.
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Opening Up by Peter Davison
Peter Davison
Weekend: a country custom, a century old,
English in origin, secular, elite,
depended on railway schedules for its ritual:
breakfast in silver warmers, tweeds till tea,
tennis or crocquet when there was no hunting,
dress for dinner, billiards after port,
later, adultery in upstairs bedrooms.

Now as the car turns willingly off asphalt
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Spring and All: XI In passing with my mind by William Carlos Williams
William Carlos Williams
In passing with my mind
on nothing in the world

but the right of way
I enjoy on the road by

virtue of the law —
I saw

an elderly man who
smiled and looked away
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City by Frederick Seidel
Frederick Seidel
Right now, a dog tied up in the street is barking
With the grief of being left,
A dog bereft.
Right now, a car is parking.

The dog emits
Petals of a barking flower and barking flakes of snow
That float upward from the street below
To where another victim sits:
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Too Young to Marry but Not Too Young to Die by Joyce Carol Oates
Joyce Carol Oates
Drowned together in his car in Lake Chippewa.
It was a bright cold starry night on Lake Chippewa.
Lake Chippewa was a “living” lake then,
though soon afterward it would choke and die.

In the bright cold morning after we could spy
them only through a patch of ice brushed clear of snow.
Scarcely three feet below,
they were oblivious of us.
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The Suicide by Joyce Carol Oates
Joyce Carol Oates
didn't thank
didn't wave goodbye
didn't flutter the air with kisses
a mound of gifts unwrapped
bed unmade
no appetite

always elsewhere

though it was raining elsewhere
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The Grand Silos of the Sacramento by Lawson Fusao Inada
Lawson Fusao Inada
From a distance, at night, they seem to be

industries—all lit up but not on the map;

or, in this scientific age, they could be

installations for launching rocket ships—

so solid, and with such security, are they. . .

Ah, but up close, by the light of day,

we see, not “pads” but actual paddies—

for these are simply silos in ricefields,
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August 5, 1942 by Jerzy Ficowski
Jerzy Ficowski
In memory of   Janusz Korczak What did the Old Doctor do
in a cattle car
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The First Circle by Kofi Awoonor
Kofi Awoonor
1.

the flat end of sorrow here
two crows fighting over New Year's Party
leftovers. From my cell, I see a cold
hard world.


2.

So this is the abscess that
hurts the nation—
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Afternoon by Pierre Reverdy
Pierre Reverdy
In the morning that comes up behind the roof, in the shelter of the bridge, in the corner of  the cypresses that rise above the wall, a rooster 
has crowed. In the bell tower that rips the air with its shining point, the notes ring out and already the morning din can be heard in the street; the only street that goes from the river to the mountain 
dividing the woods. One looks for some other words but the ideas are always just as dark, just as simple and singularly painful. There is hardly more than the eyes, the open air, the grass and the water in the distance with, around every bend, a well or a cool basin. In the right-hand corner the last house with a larger head at the window. The trees are extremely alive and all those familiar companions walk along the demolished wall that is crushed into the thorns with bursts of laughter. Above the ravine the din augments, swells, and if the car passes on the upper road one no longer knows if it is the flowers or the little bells that are chiming. Under the blazing sun, when the landscape is on fire, the traveler crosses the stream on a very narrow bridge, before a dark hole where the trees line the water that falls asleep in the afternoon. And, against the trembling background of the woods, the motionless man.
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People Who Died by Ted Berrigan
Ted Berrigan
Pat Dugan……..my grandfather……..throat cancer……..1947.

Ed Berrigan……..my dad……..heart attack……..1958.

Dickie Budlong……..my best friend Brucie’s big brother, when we were
five to eight……..killed in Korea, 1953.

Red O’Sullivan……..hockey star & cross-country runner
who sat at my lunch table
in High School……car crash…...1954.

Jimmy “Wah” Tiernan……..my friend, in High School,
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Provision by Roy Fisher
Roy Fisher
The irritations of comfort—
I visit as they rebuild the house
from within: whitening, straightening,
bracing the chimney-breast edges
and forcing warmth, dryness
and windows with views into
the cottage below canal-level.

For yes, there’s a canal, bringing
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A poem for vipers by John Wieners
John Wieners
I sit in Lees. At 11:40 PM with
Jimmy the pusher. He teaches me
Ju Ju. Hot on the table before us
shrimp foo yong, rice and mushroom
chow yuke. Up the street under the wheels
of a strange car is his stash—The ritual.
We make it. And have made it.
For months now together after midnight.
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The Wreck on the A-222 in Ravensbourne Valley by Jonathan Williams
Jonathan Williams
There are more things to love
than we would dare to hope for.
—Richard of St. Victor  where the car hit him, fireweed sprang with
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Against Gregariousness by Clive James
Clive James
Facing the wind, the hovering stormy petrels
Tap-dance on the water.
They pluck the tuna hatchlings
As Pavlova, had she been in a tearing hurry,
Might once have picked up pearls
From a broken necklace.

Yellowfin drive the turbine of sardines
Up near the surface so the diving shearwaters
Can fly down through the bubbles and get at them.
Birds from above and big fish from below
Rip at the pack until it comes apart
Like Poland, with survivors in single figures.

The krill, as singletons almost not there
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Journey by Gerald Stern
Gerald Stern
How dumb he was to wipe the blood from his eye
where he was sucker-punched and stagger out
onto the Plaza blind. He had been waiting
all night for the acorn moon and eating pineapple
topping over his ice cream and arguing
either physics or philosophy. He thinks,
at this late date, it was the cave again
throwing a shadow, although it may have been
only some way of reconciling the two
oblivious worlds, which was his mission anyhow—
if only there was a second moon. He had a
kind of beard and though he could practically lift
the front end of a car and was already
reading Blake, he had never yet tasted honey.

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the lost baby poem by Lucille Clifton
Lucille Clifton
the time i dropped your almost body down
down to meet the waters under the city
and run one with the sewage to the sea
what did i know about waters rushing back
what did i know about drowning
or being drowned

you would have been born into winter
in the year of the disconnected gas
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Bald Eagle Count by Jack Collom
Jack Collom
(for the Barteks)
up at 7, dress & cook an egg
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A Tribute to Chief Joseph (1840?-1904) by Duane Niatum
Duane Niatum
"God made me an Indian, but not a reservation Indian."—Sitting Bull Hin-Mah-Too-Yah-Lat-Ket: Thunder-rolling in-the-mountains,
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Destitute Peru by James Schuyler
James Schuyler
For John Ashbery We pullmaned to Peoria. Was
Gladys glad, Skippy missed
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The Fair by R. S. Thomas
R. S. Thomas
The idiot goes round and around
With his brother in a bumping car
At the fair. The famous idiot
Smile hangs over the car’s edge,
Illuminating nothing. This is mankind
Being taken for a ride by a rich
Relation. The responses are fixed:
Bump, smile; bump, smile. And the current
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Ballad of the Salvation Army by Kenneth Fearing
Kenneth Fearing
On Fourteenth street the bugles blow,
Bugles blow, bugles blow.
The red, red, red, red banner floats
Where sweating angels split their throats,
Marching in burlap petticoats,
Blow, bugles, blow.

God is a ten car Bronx express,
Red eyes round, red eyes round.
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For a Girl I Know about to Be a Woman by Miller Williams
Miller Williams
Because you’ll find how hard it can be
to tell which part of your body sings,
you never should dally with any young man
who does any one of the following things:

tries to beat all the yellow lights;
says, “Big deal!” or “So what?”
more than seven times a day;
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June Twenty, Three Days After by Miller Williams
Miller Williams
When I was a boy and a man would die
we’d say a verse when the hearse went by
one car two car three car four
someone knocking on the devil’s door.

I smoked all night myself awake
and saw the lights and the day break.
When the sun was done with the final star
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Knucks by Carl Sandburg
Carl Sandburg
In Abraham Lincoln’s city,
Where they remember his lawyer’s shingle,
The place where they brought him
Wrapped in battle flags,
Wrapped in the smoke of memories
From Tallahassee to the Yukon,
The place now where the shaft of his tomb
Points white against the blue prairie dome,
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Last Days by Maxine Kumin
Maxine Kumin
We visit by phone as the morphine haze
retreats, late afternoon, most days.
Our mingled past is set against the pin-
hole lights of cars cruising the blacked-out streets:

we four in the college smoker popping No-Doz,
honors students carrying heavy course loads
tipped sideways by sex, one by one discarding
our virginities on the altar of inverse pride,

ironing our blouses with Peter Pan collars
to wear on dates with those 90-day Wonders,
ensigns in training for the Second World War
in the Business School across the Charles River.

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"Alas, so all things now do hold their peace!" by Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey
Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey
Alas, so all things now do hold their peace!
Heaven and earth disturbèd in no thing;
The beasts, the air, the birds their song do cease,
The nightès car the stars about doth bring;
Calm is the sea; the waves work less and less:
So am not I, whom love, alas! doth wring,
Bringing before my face the great increase
Of my desires, whereat I weep and sing,
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Anna Maria Is Coming, or Maybe Thomas Barton, or Max! by Hilda Raz
Hilda Raz
New life! Will he toe out like Dolly, like John? Will her eyes be fires?
Blue and green, like Papa's, the ocean at the shore?
Will she sing in the bath? Play piano in her diapers?
Will her heart leap at large machinery? Will he say, "Dribe dribe,"
to his daddy, entering the tunnel? Will his hair be red? Will her hair curl?
Will her little face have the circumflex eyebrows of her mother?
The pointed chin?
Her hair be fair, bright blonde? Will she frown at the light by the river?
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Belle Isle, 1949 by Philip Levine
Philip Levine
We stripped in the first warm spring night
and ran down into the Detroit River
to baptize ourselves in the brine
of car parts, dead fish, stolen bicycles,
melted snow. I remember going under
hand in hand with a Polish highschool girl
I'd never seen before, and the cries
our breath made caught at the same time
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Cherrylog Road by James L. Dickey
James L. Dickey
Off Highway 106
At Cherrylog Road I entered
The ’34 Ford without wheels,
Smothered in kudzu,
With a seat pulled out to run
Corn whiskey down from the hills,

And then from the other side
Crept into an Essex
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Depression by Henry Carlile
Henry Carlile
He is pushing a black Ford
through an empty street -
a car like his father's
that beat the flat roads like wind
in summer and brought him here.

He never forgave his father.
That was the year he left home.
Then there was talk of weather
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Fever 103° by Sylvia Plath
Sylvia Plath
Highlight Actions Enable or disable annotations
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I Know a Man by Robert Creeley
Robert Creeley
As I sd to my
friend, because I am
always talking,—John, I

sd, which was not his
name, the darkness sur-
rounds us, what

can we do against
it, or else, shall we &
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In the Naked Bed, in Plato’s Cave by Delmore Schwartz
Delmore Schwartz
In the naked bed, in Plato’s cave,
Reflected headlights slowly slid the wall,
Carpenters hammered under the shaded window,
Wind troubled the window curtains all night long,
A fleet of trucks strained uphill, grinding,
Their freights covered, as usual.
The ceiling lightened again, the slanting diagram
Slid slowly forth.
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Lines from a Plutocratic Poetaster to a Ditch-digger by Franklin Pierce Adams
Franklin Pierce Adams
Sullen, grimy, labouring person,
As I passed you in my car,
I could sense your muffled curse on
It and me and my cigar;
And though mute your malediction,
I could feel it on my head,
As in countless works of fiction
I have read.

Envy of mine obvious leisure
Seemed to green your glittering eye;
Hate for mine apparent pleasure
Filled you as I motored by.
You who had to dig for three, four
Hours in that unpleasant ditch,
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The Marriage in the Trees by Stanley Plumly
Stanley Plumly
When the wind was right everything else
was wrong, like the oak we thought built
better than the house split like a ship
on a rock. We let it stand the winter,
spectral, shagged, every sky its snow,
then cut it down, dismantled it in
pieces like disease. Then limbs from
the yellow poplar broke at will—
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Money by Philip Larkin
Philip Larkin
Quarterly, is it, money reproaches me:
‘Why do you let me lie here wastefully?
I am all you never had of goods and sex.
You could get them still by writing a few cheques.’

So I look at others, what they do with theirs:
They certainly don’t keep it upstairs.
By now they’ve a second house and car and wife:
Clearly money has something to do with life
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People Getting Divorced by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
People getting divorced
riding around with their clothes in the car
and wondering what happened
to everyone and everything
including their other
pair of shoes
And if you spy one
then who knows what happened
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from Second Book of Odes: 6. What the Chairman Told Tom by Basil Bunting
Basil Bunting
Poetry? It’s a hobby.
I run model trains.
Mr Shaw there breeds pigeons.

It’s not work. You dont sweat.
Nobody pays for it.
You could advertise soap.

Art, that’s opera; or repertory—
The Desert Song.
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Song by John Fuller
John Fuller
You don’t listen to what I say.
When I lean towards you in the car
You simply smile and turn away.

It’s been like this most of the day,
sitting and sipping, bar after bar:
You don’t listen to what I say.

You squeeze a lemon from a tray,
And if you guess how dear you are
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Sonnet To Science by Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe
Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art!
Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.
Why preyest thou thus upon the poet’s heart,
Vulture, whose wings are dull realities?
How should he love thee? or how deem thee wise,
Who wouldst not leave him in his wandering
To seek for treasure in the jewelled skies,
Albeit he soared with an undaunted wing?
Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car,
And driven the Hamadryad from the wood
To seek a shelter in some happier star?
Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood,
The Elfin from the green grass, and from me
The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?

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A Strategem by Michael Anania
Michael Anania
(after Ehrich Weiss) I

Geography matters.
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Sweetness by Stephen Dunn
Stephen Dunn
Just when it has seemed I couldn’t bear
one more friend
waking with a tumor, one more maniac

with a perfect reason, often a sweetness
has come
and changed nothing in the world

except the way I stumbled through it,
for a while lost
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They Feed They Lion by Philip Levine
Philip Levine
Out of burlap sacks, out of bearing butter,
Out of black bean and wet slate bread,
Out of the acids of rage, the candor of tar,
Out of creosote, gasoline, drive shafts, wooden dollies,
They Lion grow.
Out of the gray hills
Of industrial barns, out of rain, out of bus ride,
West Virginia to Kiss My Ass, out of buried aunties,
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Three Men Walking, Three Brown Silhouettes by Alicia Ostriker
Alicia Ostriker
They remember the dead who died in the resistance.
It is in sweet tones that they speak of them.
They shake their heads, still, after the dinner

Walking back to the car, while an evening snow
That has started windlessly, white from pearl-gray,
Falls into streets that are already slushy.

They shake their heads, as we do when there is something
Too strange to believe,
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To Elsie by William Carlos Williams
William Carlos Williams
The pure products of America
go crazy—
mountain folk from Kentucky

or the ribbed north end of
Jersey
with its isolate lakes and

valleys, its deaf-mutes, thieves
old names
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A Toast to the Men by Edgar Albert Guest
Edgar Albert Guest
Dedicated to the Women Here’s to the men! Since Adam’s time
They’ve always been the same;
Whenever anything goes wrong,
The woman is to blame.
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Valentine, Valentine by Landis Everson
Landis Everson
Valentine, valentine you arrive
in a town car with a chauffered envelope,
scattered pieces of you enrolled in schoolyards
like a recess of paper vanity, litter, old
with red-rimmed "loves," red-rhymed lies in lace.

The verses come, rising as easily as long-stemmed snakes in
bloom where swamps settle down and drowse
by dawn, a night of secrets slid out of drawers like knives nesting, a choice of chimes and slums overrun
by bejeweled heartbreakers. What a lovely
winter, almost skipping February.
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Waving Goodbye by Gerald Stern
Gerald Stern
I wanted to know what it was like before we
had voices and before we had bare fingers and before we
had minds to move us through our actions
and tears to help us over our feelings,
so I drove my daughter through the snow to meet her friend
and filled her car with suitcases and hugged her
as an animal would, pressing my forehead against her,
walking in circles, moaning, touching her cheek,
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wax job by Charles Bukowski
Charles Bukowski
man, he said, sitting on the steps
your car sure needs a wash and wax job
I can do it for you for 5 bucks,
I got the wax, I got the rags, I got everything
I need.

I gave him the 5 and went upstairs.
when I came down 4 hours later
he was sitting on the steps drunk
and offered me a can of beer.
he said he’d get the car the next
day.

the next day he got drunk again and
I loaned him a dollar for a bottle of
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Working Habits by George Starbuck
George Starbuck
Federico Garcia Lorca
used to uncork a
bottle or two of wine
whenever the duende dwindled for a line.

James Joyce
would have preferred a choice
of brandies in decanters made by Tiffany’s,
but rotgut was the shortcut to epiphanies.
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The Green Car by Landis Everson
Landis Everson
Defend me. I am not capable.
The river sweeps by three minutes at once
cleansing me of guilt. But the bear
crashes through it and breaches my
innocence.
He rages and frightens my innocence.

The psychologist says, "You are the bear.
You are the river.
You are the green car
crossing the bridge. Defend yourself."

But the green car
is in a forest I have failed to speak to.
The green car was never intended
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from Epitaphs by Abraham Sutzkever
Abraham Sutzkever
Written on a slat of a railway car:

If some time someone should find pearls
threaded on a blood-red string of silk
which, near the throat, runs all the thinner
like life’s own path until it’s gone
somewhere in a fog and can’t be seen—

If someone should find these pearls
let him know how—cool, aloof—they lit up
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Amusing Our Daughters by Carolyn Kizer
Carolyn Kizer
after Po Chü-i,
for Robert Creeley We don’t lack people here on the Northern coast,
But they are people one meets, not people one cares for.
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The animals in that country by Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood
In that country the animals
have the faces of people:

the ceremonial
cats possessing the streets

the fox run
politely to earth, the huntsmen
standing around him, fixed
in their tapestry of manners
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Beyond Hammonton by Stephen Dunn
Stephen Dunn
Night is longing, longing, longing,
beyond all endurance.
—Henry Miller The back roads I’ve traveled late
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A Celebration of Charis: IV. Her Triumph by Ben Jonson
Ben Jonson
See the chariot at hand here of Love,
Wherein my lady rideth!
Each that draws is a swan or a dove,
And well the car Love guideth.
As she goes, all hearts do duty
Unto her beauty;
And enamour'd, do wish, so they might
But enjoy such a sight,
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Driving toward the Lac Qui Parle River by Robert Bly
Robert Bly
I
I am driving; it is dusk; Minnesota.
The stubble field catches the last growth of sun.
The soybeans are breathing on all sides.
Old men are sitting before their houses on car seats
In the small towns. I am happy,
The moon rising above the turkey sheds.

II
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The Essential Shakespeare, Volume XII: Space-Saver Sonnets by George Starbuck
George Starbuck
purged of accretions & newly published in the corrected hemimeter version prepared under the general folgership of G. Starbuck



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How It Is by Maxine Kumin
Maxine Kumin
Shall I say how it is in your clothes?
A month after your death I wear your blue jacket.
The dog at the center of my life recognizes
you’ve come to visit, he’s ecstatic.
In the left pocket, a hole.
In the right, a parking ticket
delivered up last August on Bay State Road.
In my heart, a scatter like milkweed,
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I Went into the Maverick Bar by Gary Snyder
Gary Snyder
I went into the Maverick Bar
In Farmington, New Mexico.
And drank double shots of bourbon
backed with beer.
My long hair was tucked up under a cap
I’d left the earring in the car.

Two cowboys did horseplay
by the pool tables,
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The Inkspots by Gerald Stern
Gerald Stern
The thing about the dove was how he cried in
my pocket and stuck his nose out just enough to
breathe some air and get some snow in his eye and
he would have snuggled in but I was afraid
and brought him into the house so he could shit on
the New York Times, still I had to kiss him
after a minute, I put my lips to his beak
and he knew what he was doing, he stretched his neck
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Internal Migration: On Being on Tour by Alan Dugan
Alan Dugan
As an American traveler I have
to remember not to get actionably mad
about the way things are around here.
Tomorrow I’ll be a thousand miles away
from the way it is around here. I will
keep my temper, I will not kill the dog
next door, nor will I kill the next-door wife,
both of whom are crazy and aggressive
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The Old Maid by Sara Teasdale
Sara Teasdale
I saw her in a Broadway car,
The woman I might grow to be;
I felt my lover look at her
And then turn suddenly to me.

Her hair was dull and drew no light
And yet its color was as mine;
Her eyes were strangely like my eyes
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A Side Street by Louis Untermeyer
Louis Untermeyer
On the warm Sunday afternoons
And every evening in the Spring and Summer
When the night hurries the late home-corner
And the air grows softer, and scraps of tunes
Float from the open windows and jar
Against the voices of children and the hum of a car;
When the city noises commingle and melt
With a restless something half-seen, half-felt—
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So This Is Nebraska by Ted Kooser
Ted Kooser
The gravel road rides with a slow gallop
over the fields, the telephone lines
streaming behind, its billow of dust
full of the sparks of redwing blackbirds.

On either side, those dear old ladies,
the loosening barns, their little windows
dulled by cataracts of hay and cobwebs
hide broken tractors under their skirts.
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Song of the Two Crows by Hayden Carruth
Hayden Carruth
I sing of Morrisville
(if you call this cry
a song). I
(if you call this painful

voice by that great name)
sing the poverty of my
region and of
the wrong end of Morrisville.
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Sway by Louis Simpson
Louis Simpson
Swing and sway with Sammy Kaye Everyone at Lake Kearney had a nickname:
there was a Bumstead, a Tonto, a Tex,
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Traveling through the Dark by William E. Stafford
William E. Stafford
Traveling through the dark I found a deer
dead on the edge of the Wilson River road.
It is usually best to roll them into the canyon:
that road is narrow; to swerve might make more dead.

By glow of the tail-light I stumbled back of the car
and stood by the heap, a doe, a recent killing;
she had stiffened already, almost cold.
I dragged her off; she was large in the belly.
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The Wreckage by Donald Hall
Donald Hall
At the edge of the city the pickerel
vomits and dies. The river
with its white hair staggers to the sea.

My life lay crumpled like a smashed car.

Windows barred, ivy, square stone.
Lines gather at mouth and at eyes
like cracks in a membrane.
Eyeballs and tongue spill on the floor
in a puddle of yolks and whites.

The intact 707
under the clear wave, the sun shining.

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