Saturday, September 16, 2006


----------------------------(James Tate )

When I woke from my afternoon nap, I wanted
to hold onto my dream, but in a matter of seconds
it had drifted away like a fine mist. Nothing
remained; oh, perhaps a green corner of cloth
pinched between my fingers, signifying what?
Everything about the house seemed alien to me.
The scissors yawned. The plants glowed. The
mirror was full of pain and stories that made no
sense to me. I moved like a ghost through the rooms.
Stacks of books with secret formulas and ancient
hieroglyphic predictions. And lamps, like stern
remonstrances. The silverware is surely more
guilty than I. The doorknobs don’t even believe
in tomorrow. The green cloth is burning-up. I
toss it into the freezer with a sigh of relief.


Born in Kansas City, Missouri, he is the author of Return to the City of White Donkeys (2004); Memoir of the Hawk (2002); Shroud of the Gnome (1998); Worshipful Company of Fletchers (1995), which won the National Book Award; Selected Poems (1991), which won the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the William Carlos Williams Award; Distance from Loved Ones (1990); Reckoner (1986); Constant Defender (1983); Riven Doggeries (1979); Viper Jazz (1976); Absences(1972); Hints to Pilgrims (1971); The Oblivion Ha-Ha (1970); and The Lost Pilot (1967), selected for the Yale Series of Younger Poets... He is currently a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets.
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