Bill Berkson

B
Bill Berkson
Accounts Payable
...  cantered light-heartedly downstream to their doom.
 — Patrick Leigh Fermor Somebody down there hates us deeply,
Has planted a thorn where slightest woe may overrun.

Disorderly and youthful sorrow, many divots picked at since
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First Thing
Drown on all fours
Pennies from a box flood the frump market
Blasts of nacre, triage under weather’s speckled pool

The idée fixe never happens yet can’t be ignored
Still the moon is half full?
Speak for yourself with your hands up

The search is on
Search and destroy, if you will
Elimination starting with a lit fuse

Vacuumed anon
Your pleasure is the lee shore
Thunder smites the tundra’s paw
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28
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Monogram
For Bernadette Mayer Just one more vintage movie,
Batwings tonight at the Bal Masqué — 
Another creature stuffed
By distinguished pedigree.
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26
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Signature Song
Bunny Berigan first recorded “I Can’t Get Started”
with a small group that included Joe Bushkin, Cozy Cole
and Artie Shaw in 1936.
Earlier that same year, the song,
written by Ira Gershwin and Vernon Duke,
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54
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Song for Connie
The sun met the moon at the corner
noon in thin air

Commotion you later
choose to notice
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25
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The Obvious Tradition
I haven’t remembered anything, only the names
and that their dates have been replaced by fees
toted up out of mischief:
a whopping yellow sun, finesse swallowed hard,
a scrapbook in pantyhose dawdling beside some Shreveport-like expanse.
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Christmas Eve  
for Vincent Warren Behind the black water tower under the grey
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39
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October
I
It’s odd to have a separate month. It
escapes the year, it is not only cold, it is warm
and loving like a death grip on a willing knee. The
Indians have a name for it, they call it:
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Thuringian Equals
Crossed fingers gird the planet, though small optimism obtains.
Will I read The Serious Doll in wraps, with its roller slur?

A book where everybody, reader and writer included, dies.

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Variation
Half-ended melodies are purer. To no longer perform in broad daylight,
the apple’s a radish for it,
the winter chill a living thing.
But take your brother into later learning:
Let the girls who will smell the buried cloves there.
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