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Saturday, November 2, 2013

As Close as I am to You



Here is a sofa to my right
I sit in a soft chair
to his left
Am I drinking
surely
for those were the days
when I thought all one had to do
to be a poet was drink
smoke some weed
and splatter any ol' words on paper
No question about it
I was a fake then
and not entirely certain
that I am not a fake now
The color of the sofa
is light brown or dirty yellow
in my memory
but I am there
not aware of what the future
will bring for me
or the man who sits to my right
being ever so gentle
with a younger man in the prime
of growth
Today I only wish
some of his teacher
had rubbed-off on me
as if Theodore Roethke
was pollen floating around the room
falling on little poets who will
flower in many hues

I am asleep sitting there
in that time of the past
not even waking slowly
or in any state of a being dance
though I try
sitting next to Richard Hugo
who teaches me more now
whose teacher makes my head
butter it's brain across the language


These warriors accost me
to go back into that past
to remember what it was
that made me grow into now


Richard I am 62
when you died at 59
with a small shelf of books
for me to recreate on my own


And there you are
living in my memory
surrounded by others
who have similar dreams
to take them into the pain
of Life magazine pictures
where you looked so hurt
The smear of ink on paper
from your arteries
the ball turret gunner
on the runway
of poetry

So I can only dream
in the shade recalled
of your girth
and smile
me now
not having any books
to prove
the youth of my years
me older now than you
beyond the moment
when all you left us
were the recordings
I made in a workshop
given now away
to where you taught
plus
so many sculptures
in a language
which one day
in ten thousand years
will not mean as much
as they do to me today

and your ridiculous assignment
to live longer than you
to weep for both of us


Copyright © 2013 by Barry G. Wick






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