Poems For Adrienne Rich (Iv)

written by Bruce Beaver

Poems For Adrienne Rich (Iv)

— Bruce Beaver

Halfway through one of your longer poems
I paused for the breath of these words, unclamorous
to come onto the page. As it happens
this minor poem is happening now.
I know you are part semitic as I, your father was Jewish.
We see most things clearly but I not as wholly as you.
Reading aloud that last bit would sound as though
I thought you “holier than thou”. That wasn’t my intention.
Just to let the small part of a world that gets around
to eventually reading some of the stuff I write —
chiefly this: that you do see a difficult world
clear and whole most of the time. This is worthy
of more than applause, mere bravos and hands rattling together.
You deserve the fullest allegiance we can bring to the reading
of your vision of this, the afflicted world and all
its afflicted denizens, chiefly human. Though broken spouted
teapots and varied familial bric-a-brac figure in
its totality. I can’t come to easy terms seeing things
like these effortlessly with you but that’s the way it is,
the way they are, and I along with them awkwardly
fitted to something like a role in a bad play,
not comic, not tragic, just endlessly, kaleidoscopically bad;
a shaken shambles of the half-real unreality.

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