Old 02-06-2017, 08:58 PM   #1
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In Memoriam

For remembrances--of poets, friends, rock stars, what- or whomever.
If youth is a defect, it is one we outgrow too soon.
—Robert Lowell
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:02 PM   #2
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Thomas Lux (1946-2017): Poet and long-time professor at Sarah Lawrence College and Georgia Tech.

Three of his poems:
Cucumber Fields Crossed by High Tension Wires

The high-tension spires spike the sky
beneath which boys bend
to pick from prickly vines
the deep-sopped fruit, the rind’s green
a green sunk
in green. They part the plants’ leaves,
reach into the nest,
and pull out mother, father, fat Uncle Phil.
The smaller yellow-green children stay,
for now. The fruit goes
in baskets by the side of the row,
every thirty feet or so. By these bushels
the boys get paid, in cash,
at day’s end, this summer
of the last days of the empire
that will become known as
the past, adios, then,
the ragged-edged beautiful blink.

Source: The Street of Clocks (2001)

A Little Tooth

Your baby grows a tooth, then two,
and four, and five, then she wants some meat
directly from the bone. It’s all

over: she’ll learn some words, she’ll fall
in love with cretins, dolts, a sweet
talker on his way to jail. And you,

your wife, get old, flyblown, and rue
nothing. You did, you loved, your feet
are sore. It’s dusk. Your daughter’s tall.

Source: The Drowned River (1990)

"I Love You Sweatheart"

A man risked his life to write the words.
A man hung upside down (an idiot friend
holding his legs?) with spray paint
to write the words on a girder fifty feet above
a highway. And his beloved,
the next morning driving to work . . . ?
His words are not (meant to be) so unique.
Does she recognize his handwriting?
Did he hint to her at her doorstep the night before
of "something special, darling, tomorrow"?
And did he call her at work
expecting her to faint with delight
at his celebration of her, his passion, his risk?
She will know I love her now,
the world will know my love for her!
A man risked his life to write the words.
Love is like this at the bone, we hope, love
is like this, Sweetheart, all sore and dumb
and dangerous, ignited, blessed - always,
regardless, no exceptions,
always in blazing matters like these: blessed.

Source: Split Horizon (1994)
If youth is a defect, it is one we outgrow too soon.
—Robert Lowell
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:16 AM   #3
don't. blink.
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thankyou for posting these, Tzara, as i've never read them. my favourite is the second, on the surface so simplistic but tapping in to much wider realms.

the final lines of both one and two strike me, make me ring like a bell.
poetry submissions

What strange machinery lies between her ears

'tender hearted...
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Old 02-07-2017, 06:55 PM   #4
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I read a poem of his on that social media site yesterday but, being in my usual fog, didn't realize he had died. I did some reading today. I hadn't known he edited Bill Knott's poems.

I love this poem. It really does feel like New England to me (besides being a wonderful poem).

RIP Thomas Lux

It's the Little Towns I Like

It’s the little towns I like
with their little mills making ratchets
and stanchions, elastic web,
spindles, you
name it. I like them in New England,
America, particularly-providing
bad jobs good enough to live on, to live in
families even: kindergarten,
church suppers, beach umbrellas ... The towns
are real, so fragile in their loneliness
a flood could come along
(and floods have) and cut them in two,
in half. There is no mayor,
the town council’s not prepared
for this, three of the four policemen
are stranded on their roofs ... and it doesn’t stop
raining. The mountain
is so thick with water parts of it just slide
down on the heifers—soggy, suicidal—
in the pastures below. It rains, it rains
in these towns and, because
there’s no other way, your father gets in a rowboat
so he can go to work.
"I can't help myself; I feel like I'm dreaming."
~Laura Nyro


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