Saturday, May 17, 2008

crying at a reading by robert bly

i went to hear robert bly read his poetry
but i was crowded by ghosts
i saw people who are still alive but dead
seated in the audience was an old english teacher
he was as dashing as when he taught composition
his name was john then but maybe not now, i didn't ask
then it was my friend robert.
he used to wear a leather bag over his shoulder
he didn't anymore but the beard was the same
i heard someone whisper there's thomas tranströmer
or someone who's face i've forgotten

olav h. hauge was there. so was rolf jacobsen. and more
old masters hidden in the water under
the frozen lake i remember canooing there in summer
the sickle smiles at all

how fickle is the boundary between the dead and
living how solidly the dead have planted their being in us
to a certain believers men are non-existent
to god
robert bly said
we are dust on the underside of grass