I don’t think I’ve ever posted any of my poetry – for the good reason that it is for me and my friends alone. It is private, whereas my prose is open to be looted by all, if they want to. I’m reading Nicholson Baker’s The Anthologist at the moment, to review it, and it has stirred up in me a reaction against its narrator, who is a poet and who says a lot about poetry, and seems mostly wrong.
So here’s a poem.
Down among the lumps, I bet my last million
Although what this million kenned I do not know;
And what was sky high for me then I’ve lost --
Stars, moon and occasions slipped through the hole
In my pocket in the great trance of life.
But I did, down among the lumps
Who always win, whose turns are solid gold,
Bet everybody’s birthright on an inspired guess.
And this is the part no channeler can tell
If I won or lost terrifically
Among the lumps who sit by sullen fires
In the smudged evenings, by the abandoned track.
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