Poems for July 16

July 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

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49 resurrections
risings from the really dead
have made grandfather
lofty airy German
turn transparent
in the spider-web shadows
of his horror-stained house
and it is quick — no trouble —
to sweep the dust away.
even the wind helps me.

 

*

 

 

GRANDFATHER ORDERS HIS TOMB

Early to bed and —
there are no morning birds
when I go take my luggage,
these sticks my legs
trees still with cold with images
The rugs, shades, and roof are crooked.
The duties, what does it matter
the matter, over and over,
the matter is never the same to me.
My mind dances along
near then far
in old senses and old houses
women and men, men and women
but where are the children
the little fellow will talk at two
I’ll be there god-willing
still it’s a strainy
I’m an old guy
I am slow magic.

-Bernadette Mayer, from Red Book in Three Parts (United Artists, 2002)

Note: these are very early poems in Mayer’s career, dating from 1965-66.

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