Allen Grossman

Allen Grossman
My Radiant Eye
Or is it on account of my radiant eye
I have lived so long?—I never slept

in the study hall, or called anyone
by an improper name. I never urinated in

a desolate synagogue. I never ate or drank
in a desolate synagogue or picked my teeth.

I did not walk into a desolate synagogue
in the summer just because of the heat,
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Getting the Child to Bed
Getting the child to bed is awful work,
Committing that rage to sleep that will not sleep.
The lie rots in my throat saying, “O.K.
There is balm in Gilead. Go to bed.
Honey of generation has betrayed us both.”
And truly it is no wild surmise of darkness
Nor Pisgah purview of Canaan drowned in blood
But only my child saying its say in bed.
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A Pastoral
At that time the sheep called to him
From their wormy bellies, as they
Lay bloating in the field. He was
A pastoralist,
The schoolhouse hardly handsize
In a sky of flax.

He began
Then to keep the sayings of man
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The Piano Player Explains Himself
When the corpse revived at the funeral,
The outraged mourners killed it; and the soul
Of the revenant passed into the body
Of the poet because it had more to say.
He sat down at the piano no one could play
Called Messiah, or The Regulator of the World,
Which had stood for fifty years, to my knowledge,
Beneath a painting of a red-haired woman
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The Work
A great light is the man who knows the woman he loves
A great light is the woman who knows the man she loves
And carries the light into room after room arousing
The sleepers and looking hard into the face of each
And then sends them asleep again with a kiss
Or a whole night of love
and goes on and on until
The man and woman who carry the great lights of the
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