In the bedroom the sick mind and the prone body....
"The quiet authority of Wallace Stevens' voice entered my mind like a life-saving transfusion."
Henri Cole explains the poet's genius
In 1976 the 92nd Street Y recorded Robert Lowell reading some of his poetry. It was, in short, a masterpiece.
August 21, 1976
The pumpkin's hollow head returns her gaze;His yellow eyes are dancing in the flame.And she, she has him on her window sillWithin a draft that flickers on his brain. His jagged smile and diamond eyesAre mirrored in the darkened panes.Set to be seen, not see, to blaze before the windOr wither on the wick and snap black out. Grinning backwards into the room.On either side and looking in.His gaze, she feels, was sharply cutTo burn beneath her dresses' hems
Burt has written well about more poets than more or less anyone who isn’t twice his age. What's not to love?
I’m almost ready to give her up for dead. I triedbelieving she’ll appear someday on a boat fromdownriver where she’s been making a living as a dancer who glues yellow feathers to her breastsand lets tourists eat guaraná from her navel.I tried the easier faith of a gift-bearing God who serves the whim of prayer, but all I got was thisambitious hope, this heart that hangs upside downin my ribs, blind and nocturnal and a glutton for fruit. In a past life, I drowned with a rattlesnake wrapped
write some skinny poems—James SchuylerLife is rough, asRough as you make it.Is it better to be theBest at something, or is aGentleman’s C enough,At least occasionally?I used to think it was—I used to think whateverFelt like thought was sheerPleasure, but I’m old now:It’s all edges, edges andScraps, like a collage.I thought that continuityWas everything, and now IThink it’s a mirage, like aSound-effect or an echo,A reflection of what flows
*/ II find my seat on the train, stow my bag, sit, wait. Windows black, underground tunnel. A big red-haired man comes down the aisle. Big red beard, red plaid shirt, tight barrel chest. He enters the toilet, shuts the door. Train business continues, aisle traffic, baggage, reading lights, announcements about smoking and luncheon. But a sound is beginning to be heard. Like a clown screaming – wild loops, he must be jumping, throwing back his head – or an animal cornered, losing all hope. Muffled at first then louder, jabbing through the wall. People start to look around.
February 26, 1972
"An idler is like a lump of dung; whoever picks it up shakes it off his hand."Ecclesasticus