Lucie Brock-Broido

Wikipedia Poem, No. 739


“According to the census I am unmarried / And unchurched. // The woman in the field dressed only in the sun.” Brock-Broido

  crown of smoke nation hunger as portable illusion any old hunger . . . . . . . 
. . . . . . . theory subsumes hunger and mortality illusions     hunger as . . . . . . . 
. . . . . a hunger as . . . . . . . moralist for nations hunger is always potable 
illusion          seeming syntax    branch from trunk spore from gill 
      as an 

       to the field 
   dressed now 
      whom is dying to 
come to terms with 
        our self 
          like arctic 
arctic caps a married possible 
field dressed 
in the big beautiful blubbery suit whom dying dying dying  
a ring too far gone to the
great am unmarried 
   according to the census i am dying


Source: Brock-Broido, Lucie. “You Have Harnessed Yourself Ridiculously to This World.” Poetry Foundation, Oct. 2013.

John Ashbery, 1927-2017


“Fear of Death” by John Ashbery

What is it now with me
And is it as I have become?
Is there no state free from the boundry lines
Of before and after? The window is open today

And the air pours in with piano notes
In its skirts, as though to say, “Look, John,
I’ve brought these and these”—that is,
A few Beethovens, some, Brahmses,

A few choice Poulenc notes. . . . Yes,
It is being free again, the air, it has to keep coming back
Because that’s all it’s good for.
I want to stay with it out of fear

That keeps me from walking up certain steps,
Knocking at certain doors, fear of growing old
Alone, and of finding no one at the evening end
Of the path except another myself

Nodding a curt greeting: “Well, you’ve been awhile
But now we’re back together, which is what counts.”
Air in My path, you could shorten this,
But the breeze has dropped, and silence is the last word.

Denis Johnson (1949-2017)

Wikipedia Poem, No. 491


“My office smells like a theory, but here one weeps / to see the goodness of the world laid bare / and rising with the government on its lips, / the alphabet congealing in the air / around our heads.” Denis Johnson


his lips laid
& rising with the warm
goodness of theory
there they wept rivers
over their alphabet
that would not congeal
how grave their wound
who inter their gravity