James Arlington Wright
A Blessing by James Arlington Wright

A Blessing by James Arlington Wright

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.And the eyes of those two Indian poniesDarken with kindness.They have come gladly out of the ...

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Depressed By A Book Of Bad Poetry, I Walk Toward An Unused Pasture And Invite The Insects To Join Me by James Arlington Wright

Depressed By A Book Of Bad Poetry, I Walk Toward An Unused Pasture And Invite The Insects To Join Me by James Arlington Wright

Relieved, I let the book fall behind a stone.I climb a slight rise of grass.I do not want to disturb the antsWho are walking single file up the fence post,Carrying small white ...

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A Note Left In Jimmy Leonard’s Shack by James Arlington Wright

A Note Left In Jimmy Leonard’s Shack by James Arlington Wright

Near the dry river's water-mark we foundYour brother Minnegan,Flopped like a fish against the muddy ground.Beany, the kid whose yellow hair turns green,Told me to find you, even ...

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Small Frogs Killed On The Highway by James Arlington Wright

Small Frogs Killed On The Highway by James Arlington Wright

Still,I would leap tooInto the light,If I had the chance.It is everything, the wet green stalk of the fieldOn the other side of the road.They crouch there, too, faltering in ...

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Saint Judas by James Arlington Wright

Saint Judas by James Arlington Wright

When I went out to kill myself, I caughtA pack of hoodlums beating up a man.Running to spare his suffering, I forgotMy name, my number, how my day began,How soldiers milled around ...

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Beginning by James Arlington Wright

Beginning by James Arlington Wright

The moon drops one or two feathers into the fiels.The dark wheat listens.Be still.Now.There they are, the moon's young, tryingTheir wings.Between trees, a slender woman lifts up ...

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Autumn Begins In Martins Ferry, Ohio by James Arlington Wright

Autumn Begins In Martins Ferry, Ohio by James Arlington Wright

In the Shreve High football stadium,I think of Polacks nursing long beers in Tiltonsville,And gray faces of Negroes in the blast furnace at Benwood,And the ruptured night watchman ...

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Lying In A Hammock At William Duffy’s Farm In Pine Island, Minnesota by James Arlington Wright

Lying In A Hammock At William Duffy’s Farm In Pine Island, Minnesota by James Arlington Wright

Over my head, I see the bronze butterfly,Asleep on the black trunk,blowing like a leaf in green shadow.Down the ravine behind the empty house,The cowbells follow one anotherInto ...

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A Poem About George Doty In The Death House by James Arlington Wright

A Poem About George Doty In The Death House by James Arlington Wright

Lured by the wall, and drawnTo stare below the roof,Where pigeons nest aloofFrom prowling cats and men,I count the sash and barSecured to granite stone,And note the daylight ...

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At The Executed Murderer’s Grave by James Arlington Wright

At The Executed Murderer’s Grave by James Arlington Wright

Why should we do this? What good is it to us? Above all,how can we do such a thing? How can it possibly be done?--Freud1.My name is James A. Wright, and I was bornTwenty-five ...

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Outside Fargo, North Dakota by James Arlington Wright

Outside Fargo, North Dakota by James Arlington Wright

Along the sprawled body of the derailed Great Northern freight car,I strike a match slowly and lift it slowly.No wind.Beyond town, three heavy white horsesWade all the way to ...

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A Way To Make A Living by James Arlington Wright

A Way To Make A Living by James Arlington Wright

From an epigram by PlatoWhen I was a boy, a relative Asked for me a job At the Weeks Cemetery. Think of all I could Have raised that summer, That money, and me Living at home, ...

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Northern Pike by James Arlington Wright

Northern Pike by James Arlington Wright

All right. Try this,Then. Every bodyI know and care for,And every bodyElse is goingTo die in a lonelinessI can't imagine and a painI don't know. We hadTo go on living. WeUntangled ...

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As I Step Over A Puddle At The End Of Winter, I Think Of An Ancient Chinese Governor by James Arlington Wright

As I Step Over A Puddle At The End Of Winter, I Think Of An Ancient Chinese Governor by James Arlington Wright

And how can I, born in evil daysAnd fresh from failure, ask a kindness of Fate?-- Written A.D. 819Po Chu-i, balding old politician,What's the use?I think of you,Uneasily entering ...

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Bologna: A Poem About Gold by James Arlington Wright

Bologna: A Poem About Gold by James Arlington Wright

Give me this time, my first and severe Italian, a poem about gold, The left corners of eyes, and the heavy Night of the locomotives that brought me here, And the heavy wine in the ...

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On The Skeleton Of A Hound by James Arlington Wright

On The Skeleton Of A Hound by James Arlington Wright

Nightfall, that saw the morning-glories floatTendril and string against the crumbling wall,Nurses him now, his skeleton for grief,His locks for comfort curled among the ...

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Rip by James Arlington Wright

Rip by James Arlington Wright

It can't be the passing of time that castsThat white shadow across the watersJust offshore.I shiver a little, with the evening.I turn down the steep path to findWhat's left of the ...

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May Morning by James Arlington Wright

May Morning by James Arlington Wright

Deep into spring, winter is hanging on. Bitter and skillful in his hopelessness, he stays alive in every shady place, starving along the Mediterranean: angry to see the glittering ...

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Having Lost My Sons, I Confront The Wreckage Of The Moon: Christmas, 1960 by James Arlington Wright

Having Lost My Sons, I Confront The Wreckage Of The Moon: Christmas, 1960 by James Arlington Wright

After darkNear the South Dakota border,The moon is out hunting, everywhere,Delivering fire,And walking down hallwaysOf a diamond.Behind a tree,It ights on the ruinsOf a white ...

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In Response To A Rumor That The Oldest Whorehouse In Wheeling, West Virginia, Has Been Condemned by James Arlington Wright

In Response To A Rumor That The Oldest Whorehouse In Wheeling, West Virginia, Has Been Condemned by James Arlington Wright

I will grieve alone,As I strolled alone, years ago, down alongThe Ohio shore.I hid in the hobo jungle weedsUpstream from the sewer main,Pondering, gazing.I saw, down river,At ...

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The Journey by James Arlington Wright

The Journey by James Arlington Wright

Anghiari is medieval, a sleeve sloping downA steep hill, suddenly sweeping outTo the edge of a cliff, and dwindling.But far up the mountain, behind the town,We too were swept out, ...

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Goodbye To The Poetry Of Calcium by James Arlington Wright

Goodbye To The Poetry Of Calcium by James Arlington Wright

Dark cypresses--The world is uneasily happy;It will all be forgotten.--Theodore StormMother of roots, you have not seededThe tall ashes of lonelinessFor me. Therefore,Now I go.If ...

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Trying To Pray by James Arlington Wright

Trying To Pray by James Arlington Wright

This time, I have left my body behind me, cryingIn its dark thorns.Still,There are good things in this world.It is dusk.It is the good darknessOf women's hands that touch ...

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Fear Is What Quickens Me by James Arlington Wright

Fear Is What Quickens Me by James Arlington Wright

1Many animals that our fathers killed in AmericaHad quick eyes.They stared about wildly,When the moon went dark.The new moon falls into the freight yardsOf cities in the south,But ...

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The Jewel by James Arlington Wright

The Jewel by James Arlington Wright

There is this caveIn the air behind my bodyThat nobody is going to touch:A cloister, a silenceClosing around a blossom of fire.When I stand upright in the wind,My bones turn to ...

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A Winter Daybreak Above Vence by James Arlington Wright

A Winter Daybreak Above Vence by James Arlington Wright

The night's driftsPile up below me and behind my back,Slide down the hill, rise again, and buildEerie little dunes on the roof of the house.In the valley below me,Miles between me ...

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To A Blossoming Pear Tree by James Arlington Wright

To A Blossoming Pear Tree by James Arlington Wright

Beautiful natural blossoms,Pure delicate body,You stand without trembling.Little mist of fallen starlight,Perfect, beyond my reach,How I envy you.For if you could only listen,I ...

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Hook by James Arlington Wright

Hook by James Arlington Wright

I was only a young manIn those days. On that eveningThe cold was so God damnedBitter there was nothing.Nothing. I was in troubleWith a woman, and there was nothingThere but me and ...

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The Ice House by James Arlington Wright

The Ice House by James Arlington Wright

The house was really a cellar deep beneath the tower of the oldBelmont Brewery. My father's big shoulders heaved open the doorfrom the outside, and from within the big shoulders ...

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The Minneapolis Poem by James Arlington Wright

The Minneapolis Poem by James Arlington Wright

to John Logan1 I wonder how many old men last winter Hungry and frightened by namelessness prowled The Mississippi shore Lashed blind by the wind, dreaming Of suicide in the ...

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To The Saguaro Cactus Tree In The Desert Rain by James Arlington Wright

To The Saguaro Cactus Tree In The Desert Rain by James Arlington Wright

I had no idea the elf owl Crept into you in the secret Of night. I have torn myself out of many bitter places In America, that seemed Tall and green-rooted in mid-noon. ...

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The Last Pieta, In Florence by James Arlington Wright

The Last Pieta, In Florence by James Arlington Wright

The whole city Is stone, even Where stone Doesn't belong. What is that old Man's public face Doing sorrowing, Secretly a little, A little above and A little back from What is that ...

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You And I Saw Hawks Exchanging The Prey by James Arlington Wright

You And I Saw Hawks Exchanging The Prey by James Arlington Wright

They did the deed of darkness In their own mid-light. He plucked a gray field mouse Suddenly in the wind. The small dead fly alive Helplessly in his beak, His cold pride, ...

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Sappho by James Arlington Wright

Sappho by James Arlington Wright

The twilight falls; I soften the dusting feathers, And clean again. The house has lain and moldered for three days. The windows smeared with rain, the curtains torn, The mice come ...

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The Secret Of Light	by James Arlington Wright

The Secret Of Light by James Arlington Wright

I am sitting contented and alone in a little park near the Palazzo Scaligere in Verona, glimpsing the mists of early autumn as they shift and fade among the pines and city ...

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Youth by James Arlington Wright

Youth by James Arlington Wright

Strange bird, His song remains secret. He worked too hard to read books. He never heard how Sherwood Anderson Got out of it, and fled to Chicago, furious to free himself From his ...

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To The Muse by James Arlington Wright

To The Muse by James Arlington Wright

It is all right. All they doIs go in by dividingOne rib from another. I wouldn'tLie to you. It hurtsLike nothing I know. All they doIs burn their way in with a wire.It forks in ...

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The Lambs On The Boulder by James Arlington Wright

The Lambs On The Boulder by James Arlington Wright

I hear that the Commune di Padova has an exhibition of master- pieces from Giotto to Mantegna. Giotto is the master of angels, and Mantegna is the master of the dead Christ, one ...

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A Secret Gratitude by James Arlington Wright

A Secret Gratitude by James Arlington Wright

1 She cleaned house, and then lay down long On the long stair. On one of those cold white wings That the strange fowl provide for us like one hillside of the sea, That cautery of ...

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A Mad Fight Song For William S. Carpenter, 1966 by James Arlington Wright

A Mad Fight Song For William S. Carpenter, 1966 by James Arlington Wright

Varus, varus, gib mir meine Legionen wiederQuick on my feet in those Novembers of my loneliness, I tossed a short pass, Almost the instant I got the ball, right over the head Of ...

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