Readings in Contemporary Poetry

Rosmarie Waldrop


The house introduces blind views. The harbor plays the jetty. No 
shadow of a hero. Nothing that could be called a fountain.

True, I begin to see exceptions, categories tossed. A boat carried over the 
water without visible means.

When a concept is based on arbitrary definitions, is it wrong to consider 
it arbitrary? How often have I noted varieties of timber converging on 
the river, the wall. How often have I been scattered with the leaves
pitched from clogged gutters. 

The boatman has tied the rope. A flock of pigeons alights by the house.
A woman flings grain outside the mother tongue. Something a little 
angular about her. Unable to embody security and plenty. 

A matter of dialect. A ring tossed for exchange and recognition. The 
father openly corpulent. 

Fruit peels and offal on the steps of the house. The door is shut. Is of 
black oak. Is strongly made like a belief. A statement about relations, 
between the universe and rigid rods. You knock and raise your hat to 
the strange goings-on. 

The woman is given (part of her labor) to fading. Oatmeal cakes, such 
as memories. Tasted one after another like praise from a loved one, not 
quite knowing what for. And why the umbrellas? the steps on the 

I myself maintain a rough ecology of day and dream. Sleep offering 
strategies of dissolution. 

copyright 2002