‘The Field’ by Ron Padgett

John Lagatta; Livingston Manor, NY; July 2021, Joe Gerace

Every once in a while white
lines appear in my field
of vision, curling sometimes
at the top of it and I
realize once again that there
is an invisible rectangle
around everything.
How do I know it’s there?
I just put it there,
that’s how.
And those white lines?
Little hairs
straggling from my eyebrows.

Source: Padgett, Ron. “The Field.” Big Cabin, Coffee House Press, 2019, p. 78. Print.

Gilgamesh Gets Confused

Wikipedia Poem, No. 956

This was a unifying national story. When it dominated, politics was over which party could offer the most opportunity.

the land of opportunity
immigrants came to the tower
of terror the land of dogs
and self-improvement created
by dragging hustlers who
impoverish the person and opportunity
and immigrants who came to this wastebasket
at dawn looking hustled
who was expelled from the negro streets
of war and poverty of lead listening
hustler who bared in the best under minds
personed and peopled and dogged self-improvement
cool eyes hallucinated through new bustling
in the quintessence palestine is a never
in this wastebasket at dawn lookin’ hustled
who expelled the ancient creation
out for new business starvin’
the academies connected destruction
to opportunity

‘For a Moment’ by Ron Padgett

'For a Moment' by Ron Padgett

It’s funny how
if you just let go
of things they

will come to
you. That is to say
sometimes. So what

good is such a
Ah, it makes you

feel good to say
such things from
time to time,

as if you actually
and really and truly
knew something!

Source: Padgett, Ron. Collected Poems. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Coffee House Press, 2013, p. 415.

Sweat Sweet as Melons the Tongues


hands grasping the
ornamental knobs of
the man-ropes father
mapple cast a
look this color
orange tries to
remind me of
you lay down
and be slumbering
a cabinet is
kind the and
when i’m cornered
at the final
blown it seems
from room in
clouds peeks at
ourselves in the
mirror brain inside
the test tube
is still alive


the thing that
death gave you
themselves christian thorns
you bet apples
bananas sour as
sweat sweet as
melons the tongues
and tigers hotly
towards dancing away
from your cars
by the frond
of the sea
i live of
rain made out
to ask me
whether we were
again to be
bedfellows i told
him yes whereat


content and there
let him rest
all our arguing
with him would
not avail let
him be in
and out a
window will never
create hay back
me up then
to ask to
arrive late and
be polite so
you are do
you know here
is the corner
a couple of
men jump up
7th as a
little there’s only
one option

“Aubade Sung at Laetare a Year Ago” by Guillaume Apollinaire


It’s spring come out Esther you should
Take a walk in the pretty woods
The hens are clucking in the yard
Dawn’s pink folds are shooting skyward
And love is coming to steal your heart

Mars and Venus have come back anew
They give each other mad kisses
An innocent interlude
While beneath the fluttering roses
Lovely pink gods are dancing nude

So come my tenderness is queen
Of this flowering that appears
Nature is beautiful and touching
Pan is whistling in the trees
The wet frogs are singing


Source: Apollinaire, Guillaume. “Aubade Sung at Laetare a Year Ago.” Zone: Selected Poems. Trans. Ron Padgett. NYRB Poets, 2015. 25. Print.

First Barn Owl Egg Hatch

Wikipedia Poem, No. 484

“There is a separation / between life and death / where [feathers] grow // and that is where I want to go / this weekend,” paraphrasing Padgett

in green darkness

      leafy flesh 
master has built 

will be 
many bones

a small mouthful
       of mouse

Wikipedia Poem, No. 182


“If only your arms were green, you could have two small lawns!” Ron Padgett


in here i don’t fit in 
took me about a week i don’t know 
         i don’t see people 
        and occasionally fail 
      person because i 
see people who are 
obsessed by 
lives are 
    like i don’t fit 
here i don’t 
know i don’t 
where i 
had totally failed 
as a person because
        i had to 
recover from 
the delusion i failed as a person because 
i don’t know where i had my 
photo taken 
i don’t know where 
      i don’t 
        see people who are like i don’t know i 
         don’t see people and 
         it took 
   me about about a 
week i don’t 
         see people who are like i don’t 

Moshfegh, Ottessa, and Kristine McKenna. Certain Age. 
   Harper’s Magazine Foundation, May 2016. Web. 27 Apr. 2016.
Padgett, Ron. "Survivor Guilt." Best American Poetry 2015. 
   Eds. Sherman Alexie and David Lehman. New York: Scribner, 2015. 106-107. Print.