Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Poem You Asked For

by Larry Levis

My poem would eat nothing.
I tried giving it water
but it said no,

worrying me.
Day after day,
I held it up to the light,

turning it over,
but it only pressed its lips
more tightly together.

It grew sullen, like a toad
through with being teased.
I offered it money,

my clothes, my car with a full tank.
But the poem stared at the floor.
Finally I cupped it in

my hands, and carried it gently
out into the soft air, into the
evening traffic, wondering how

to end things between us.
For now it had begun breathing,
putting on more and

more hard rings of flesh.
And the poem demanded the food,
it drank up all the water,

beat me and took my money,
tore the faded clothes
off my back,

said Shit,
and walked slowly away,
slicking its hair down.

Said it was going
over to your place.

"Wrecking Crew", by Larry Levis - 1972 - University of Pittsburgh Press


Robert said...

Love it!

Nick said...

So does a certain Young Layman Poet. ;-)

Suzanne said...

Me too! Thanks for posting it, Nick!

Nick said...


Collin said...

Hilarious and true.

Robert said...

YLPs of the world untie. You have nothing to lose but your shoelaces!

Nick said...

And maybe your belts!

Sam of the ten thousand things said...

Levis is one of my favorites. Thanks for the post Nick.

By the way, the Fall issue of Blue Fifth will be ready before 10/25.

Nick said...

Sam, I'm looking forward to it! Thanks!

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