Portrait of John Berryman

Wikipedia Poem, No. 645

berryman

“I won’t dwell on these or on any details now. I have a good deal to do and I am exhausted in the eighth day of a heavy cold. This is just to tell you that life has a new mask on.” John Berryman, 10 October 1943

so do i 
am exhausted 
in the end of our minds

this instead 
of our minds

this instead of our minds 
instead of our minds this

the end of a heavy cold
the end minding the cold

speaker and
spoken to

our annual knowing 
being offered up to us 

i have a good deal to tell 
on a term-to-term basis 

instead of our minds
the eighth day of mum

as we begin less-than-life 
has a new mask on

this is less-life than less with its 
new mask hell-in-new-rochelle

any details now (exactly what
i don't yet know) i am exhausted 

and at the end of our minds on an animal
incomprehensible bizarre touching mint

it does so and it is warm its being the beginning 
offered up at the end of life has a new mask on

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