John Updike

J
John Updike
Tossing and Turning
The spirit has infinite facets, but the body
confiningly few sides.
There is the left,
the right, the back, the belly, and tempting
in-betweens, northeasts and northwests,
that tip the heart and soon pinch circulation
in one or another arm.
Yet we turn each time
Read Poem
0
35
Rating:

Burning Trash
At night—the light turned off, the filament
Unburdened of its atom-eating charge,
His wife asleep, her breathing dipping low
To touch a swampy source—he thought of death.
Her father's hilltop home allowed him time
To sense the nothing standing like a sheet
Of speckless glass behind his human future.
He had two comforts he could see, just two.
Read Poem
0
34
Rating:

Ex-Basketball Player
Pearl Avenue runs past the high-school lot,
Bends with the trolley tracks, and stops, cut off
Before it has a chance to go two blocks,
At Colonel McComsky Plaza. Berth’s Garage
Is on the corner facing west, and there,
Most days, you'll find Flick Webb, who helps Berth out.

Flick stands tall among the idiot pumps—
Five on a side, the old bubble-head style,
Read Poem
0
33
Rating:

FLIGHT TO LIMBO
(At What Used to Be Called Idlewild) The line didn’t move, though there were not
many people in it. In a half-hearted light
Read Poem
0
30
Rating:

Penumbrae
The shadows have their seasons, too.
The feathery web the budding maples
cast down upon the sullen lawn

bears but a faint relation to
high summer's umbrageous weight
and tunnellike continuum—

black leached from green, deep pools
wherein a globe of gnats revolves
Read Poem
0
40
Rating:

Returning Native
What can you say about Pennsylvania
in regard to New England except that
it is slightly less cold, and less rocky,
or rather that the rocks are different?
Redder, and gritty, and piled up here and there,
whether as glacial moraine or collapsed springhouse
is not easy to tell, so quickly
are human efforts bundled back into nature.
Read Poem
0
41
Rating:

Tao in the Yankee Stadium Bleachers
Distance brings proportion. From here
the populated tiers
as much as players seem part of the show:
a constructed stage beast, three folds of Dante’s rose,
or a Chinese military hat
cunningly chased with bodies.
“Falling from his chariot, a drunk man is unhurt
because his soul is intact. Not knowing his fall,
Read Poem
0
25
Rating:

VENETIAN CANDY
How long will our bewildered heirs
marooned in possessions not theirs
puzzle at disposing of these three
cunning feignings of hard candy in glass—
the striped little pillowlike mock-sweets,
the flared end-twists as of transparent paper?

No clue will be attached, no trace
of the sunny day of their purchase,
Read Poem
0
25
Rating:

On the Road
Those dutiful dogtrots down airport corridors
while gnawing at a Dunkin' Donuts cruller,
those hotel rooms where the TV remote
waits by the bed like a suicide pistol,
those hours in the air amid white shirts
whose wearers sleep-read through thick staid thrillers,
those breakfast buffets in prairie Marriotts—
such venues of transit grow dearer than home.
Read Poem
0
34
Rating:

Pura Vida
(¡Pura vida! —Costa Rican phrase for "O.K." or "Great!") Such heat! It brings the brain back to its basic blank.
Small, recurrent events become the daily news—
Read Poem
0
38
Rating: