Thursday, April 1, 2010

“Personal Poem #9”


Good morning, folks, & a happy Thursday to you all. Here’s some good news to everyone who was sad to see the Weekly Poem go away—I’ll be featuring poems twice a month, probably on the first Thursday & final Friday of each month.

This month we’ll look at a couple of poems by one of my very favorite poets, Ted Berrigan. “Personal Poem #9” is a relatively early piece, but it shows a number of Berrigan’s characteristics: his delight in the personal, the “mundane” details of everyday life; the conversational tone mixed with a rapid movement thru the lines; his ability to ground a poem in a real sense of place. Of course, the fact that Berrigan mentions the town where I was born (Bellows Falls, VT) particularly endears this poem to me!

Hope you enjoy it too!


Personal Poem #9

It’s 8:54 a.m. in Brooklyn it’s the 26th of July
and it’s probably 8:54 in Manhattan but I’m
in Brooklyn I’m eating English muffins and drinking
Pepsi and I’m thinking of how Brooklyn is New
York City too          how odd          I usually think of it
as something all its own like Bellows Falls like
Little Chute          like Uijongbu
                                                          I never thought
on the Williamsburg Bridge I’d come so much to Brooklyn
just to see lawyers and cops who don’t even carry guns
taking my wife away and bringing her back
                                                                                        No
and I never thought Dick would be back at Gude’s
beard shaved off long hair cut and Carol reading
his books when we were playing cribbage and watching
the sun come up over the Navy Yard a-
cross the river
                            I think I was thinking
when I was ahead I’d be somewhere like Perry Street
erudite dazzling slim and badly-loved
contemplating my new book of poetry
to be printed in simple type on old brown paper
feminine marvelous and tough

Ted Berrigan

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