Today there’s supposed to be a break This riverbend must have always been lovely. When you set out to find your Northwest Passage Burglars enter an apartment and ransack drawers; Consider how smart As dawn breaks he enters Woolgathering afternoon: We were knee-deep in packing paper when the cherub’s head fell off. Saying the words My father died It must be easier if one believes The rich men, they know about suffering My anonymous hour opens with a prayer A shore of washed stones That a cardinal’s bright dart alights upon the branch I drove in snow to Clinton. What we don’t know we don’t know, You and I, when we sleep, we’re like whales Buster Keaton’s every move strikes With a wing cocked towards a lit lamp, he doesn’t let the herd eat the forsythia but After agony had left his body to find another, Never the bark and abalone mask He limps into the barn A real one wouldn’t need one, Sometime soon after the embers cooled, Mr. Poe sits in Mrs. Shelton’s parlor, freshly We’ve come back to the site of her You’ve made your bed they said Late November afternoon. He struggles into his borrowed human skin, After I failed calculus, my father, There are men awed We can talk to one another on telephones Nefertiti means “The Beautiful One Has Come” Fear passes from man to man When the person with the loupe was assigned Up the cutbank of a creek named after stone, I want to be the transport ship whose rolling eye is as loving as a mother’s. Kissinger in black-tie shuffles to the town car They came for land. For hog-high wheat to Dixon, Weeping In one field, husks, muscadine vines & a sugarcane graveyard furrow acres aching for the devil to beat his wife. At Memory Hill to spread lilies on daddy’s grave, Meandering Neandertals He walks into a thin morning The hummingbird hovers over bougainvillea, darting in and out A new “department.” A gray hive They will be gone by now, the blind lottery sellers of Athens, swept from the streets in time for the Olympics. These rooms of wood, of tongue-and-groove, open out So the free may remain free At the age of ten you will be allowed This week the letter from my mother A woman writes to ask there are still the bad dreams I have to say What is mysterious about loss, When, as our line of divers squeezed A measurement of time It used to be that I was the prize “Yuck,” you heave in front of that sick boy What walls and gables, wonders still of workmanship. On the radio a choir was singing “Peace,” says the soprano, The glory that has been evenly split On the front step my Grandpop strained to hear January saying summer, the news Hide every distant thing, The tiny wren perched on your hand I spent a long time falling I’d cut the prologue, where God agrees It was clear she had carefully considered On the lightning-struck pin oak, Strung with whistle bones, frail reeds fledged, a bird At Uncle Li’s We sit by the window Tentative, greedy, by night they came, They stand scattered and not In woods and lakes, car boots, freezers, huts, I keep a little Lear in my back Lost in the woods with an air rifle, Having seared the sky, the sun—a brazier— I remember, before the snow started, I awoke as from a dream. And I rose I was merely on They’ll chew you up The boys are hungry Open your bedroom window in the heart of winter. U’s mate, O with a new root, Two bourbons past the funeral, The clock in the heart of town My own personal map of America on the back of the airplane seat This is the time of day we hear them coming back, That silly retriever. Just wait a while and the water will run clear, I found a picture of you Here not waterfalls: scrubby plats of gorse and heather I wake up in the dark with my head knocking a beautiful hours, very well A fingerprint on air You loved your daily bout The whole village walks the hard pack Spring and the come-back glow When I lifted my hand to brush it away, I had been continuing to do the same thing All day I have been thinking about the tide— The little boy who snuggles next to me No blue beckons so much as chlorine blue, Whether it speaks A pentecost of bloom: all the furred tongues Yes, whales. The first time that I heard them breathing, Your hand on my jaw Let’s turn back into the blaze without shovels, let’s ask the fox I’m in the upper field again plump mother-lode of pleasure Jerk that bitch, urges my guide, The Christmas tree comes down Cool air arrives, sounding in high parts of the huge silvery plane tree the simple way the beach has Tonight I can’t remember why Continued soggy in the personal today Body be dream Take two flights of stairs. As nomads camp where others camped before, Deborah wasn’t a Jew, and then In blunder of dusk I negotiate rush hour Why now do I care to look— All May, and everywhere Now you’re a buddy mucking I sit in the garden listening My love is like a deep and placid lake... Like the Soviets, my body had a plan A young woman is walking with her boyfriend, and it’s deep You are a wretch and a leech and a dirty Dad who thinks life is a paper bag “To be with a koan,” Persistence has lent this tall white pine Don’t try this at home. On second thought, come in, A strong, pale wind on the thighs, I saw him as I drove by— October 11, 1963: Today, when I woke up, I asked myself Alone I sailed. What led you down, first mother, from the good If it’s the title of a movie, you expect The vultures of this landscape came to call A horrific scene: helpless in his passion Art can make war look wrong, but most of the time knock on wood Piney woods Rain against the roof sounds like a slow tire We were born in the light People are compelled to be together good and bad. We will go to God It didn’t behave I needed fox Badly I needed No sky a gray backdrop merely and absence It’s the sort of painting I could never stand— Effortlessness, I learn again, Assume, dear vagabond, you are permitted Driving the mountain with the windows down In a nest no bigger than the breast pocket I’m this tiny, this statuesque, and everywhere The bed is fissured with shadow. The mourning dove’s call woke me The vast sadness of my family Here’s a plain pile of sand. From flowering gnarled trees Thank goodness we were able to wipe the Neanderthals out, beastly things, What he said was vast, given his limits. Scuba divers will sometimes drown We dressed for church. I had a white hat Abstain from staring too long at the sky. A bird’s building I don’t know what We passed the baby over the bed, and later we passed tissue, hey music and Now this big westerly’s I’ve learned nothing. It was with me We’ve all been in towns It wasn’t the river coming into me When Sulis rose from the open ground for over an hour we watched April 8th out my upstairs window. It was her first time coming home from college. Dickey’s death feels all over me. You know those people who are uncomfortable Unreal precision of the houses at first light A tall slender man sits at a rolltop desk Honey I am one gorgeous permanent wave Not pushing a rock— It keeps on happening again and it will It used to be simple: Deep in the heart of every child, every mother, every spectator, Oh fire—you burn me! Ed is singing It’s stringy out here Under Eads Bridge over the Mississippi at Saint Louis In the portrait of Jefferson that hangs If memory has a center, let it be here. The cat purrs us awake, pawing the pillow, Dear Mei Ling: We don’t know how you became a self-righteous, left-wing vegan I saw a vast ocean on which sailed the fleets of every navy that had ever been. The ocean was still too vast for them. The fleets were specks of color on a canvas that was light and movement. Years and months fell like snowflakes.