Thursday, February 24, 2011


So Auden married Erika, der Mann's
Daughter, because that's what a bugger does,
Which doesn't seem to have disturbed the plans
Of anyone, except the beast that was.

Nice story. Famous names. The gentile touch
Of charity, and no Mann shared his beds.
Just don't believe that we believe too much
Of what such great men portage in their heads

From Alpha to Omega. There were those
Abandoned, which was not the fault of verse;
A little more, perhaps, a debt that prose
Has not repaid; but when the starving curse,

They do not mention villanelles or myth
Or those who aimed intentions, one by one,
At celebrated, artificial kith
And never felt contrition from a son.

Monday, February 21, 2011

From the mailbag

Dear Richard Epstein,

I accidentally read one of your poems while looking for the real Richard Epstein. I hope it never happens again.

Best wishes,
[name withheld]

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Way, Awhile

When winter came, they were not ready. No
One is. And though they'd seen it all before,
They never thought of winter any more.
That time had gone, and no one heard it go.
What did they have? A leaf or two to show

Succeeding generations, who would smile
And think how quaint the Old Ones were, who never
Took off their clothes or painted something clever
Or died for love or died for peace, whose style
Was okay in its time, away, a while.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Are you a famous poet?
There are no famous poets, not in the sense you mean.
Okay. Are you famous for a poet?
That's a good question. Well put.
Well what?
Are you?