Weldon Kees
A Distance From The Sea by Weldon Kees

A Distance From The Sea by Weldon Kees

To Ernest Brace"And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I wasabout to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying untome, Seal up those things which the seven ...

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A Musician’s Wife by Weldon Kees

A Musician’s Wife by Weldon Kees

Between the visits to the shock wardThe doctors used to let you playOn the old upright BaldwinDonated by a former patientWho is said to be quite stable now. And all day long you ...

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Colloquy by Weldon Kees

Colloquy by Weldon Kees

In the broken light, in owl weather,Webs on the lawn where the leaves end,I took the thin moon and the sky for coverTo pick the cat's brains and descendA weedy hill. I found him ...

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Robinson by Weldon Kees

Robinson by Weldon Kees

The dog stops barking after Robinson has gone.His act is over. The world is a gray world,Not without violence, and he kicks under the grand piano,The nightmare chase well under ...

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Year’s End by Weldon Kees

Year’s End by Weldon Kees

The state cracked where they left your breathNo longer instrument. Along the shoreThe sand ripped up, and the newer bloodStreaked like a vein to every monument.The empty smoke ...

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For My Daughter by Weldon Kees

For My Daughter by Weldon Kees

Looking into my daughter’s eyes I read Beneath the innocence of morning flesh Concealed, hintings of death she does not heed. Coldest of winds have blown this hair, and mesh Of ...

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Round by Weldon Kees

Round by Weldon Kees

"Wondrous life!" cried Marvell at Appleton House.Renan admired Jesus Christ "wholeheartedly."But here dried ferns keep falling to the floor,And something inside my headFlaps like ...

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1926 by Weldon Kees

1926 by Weldon Kees

The porchlight coming on again,Early November, the dead leavesRaked in piles, the wicker swingCreaking. Across the lotsA phonograph is playing Ja-Da.An orange moon. I see the ...

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Aspects Of Robinson by Weldon Kees

Aspects Of Robinson by Weldon Kees

Robinson at cards at the Algonquin; a thin Blue light comes down once more outside the blinds. Gray men in overcoats are ghosts blown past the door. The taxis streak the avenues ...

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The Speakers by Weldon Kees

The Speakers by Weldon Kees

"A equals X," says Mister One."A equals B," says Mister Two."A equals nothing under the sunBut A," says Mister Three. A fewApplaud; some wipe their eyes;Some linger in the shade ...

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A Pastiche For Eve by Weldon Kees

A Pastiche For Eve by Weldon Kees

Unmanageable as history: theseFollowers of Tammuz to the landThat offered no return, where dustGrew thick on every bolt and door. And so the worldChilled, and the women wept, tore ...

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The Smiles Of The Bathers by Weldon Kees

The Smiles Of The Bathers by Weldon Kees

The smiles of the bathers fade as they leave the water,And the lover feels sadness fall as it ends, as he leaves his love.The scholar, closing his book as the midnight clock ...

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The Furies by Weldon Kees

The Furies by Weldon Kees

Not a third that walks beside me,But five or six or more.Whether at dusk or daybreakOr at blinding noon, a retinueOf shadows that no doorExcludes.--One like a kind of scrawl,Hands ...

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The Upstairs Room by Weldon Kees

The Upstairs Room by Weldon Kees

It must have been in March the rug wore through.Now the day passes and I stareAt warped pine boards my father's father nailed,At the twisted grain. Exposed, where emptiness ...

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Interregnum by Weldon Kees

Interregnum by Weldon Kees

Butcher the evil millionaire, peasant,And leave him stinking in the square.Torture the chancellor. Leave the ambassadorStrung by his thumbs from the pleasantEmbassy wall, where ...

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Covering Two Years by Weldon Kees

Covering Two Years by Weldon Kees

This nothingness that feeds upon itself:Pencils that turn to water in the hand,Parts of a sentence, hanging in the air,Thoughts breaking in the mind like glass,Blank sheets of ...

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Late Evening Song by Weldon Kees

Late Evening Song by Weldon Kees

For a whileLet it be enough:The responsive smile,Though effort goes into it.Across the warm roomShared in candlelight,This look beyond shame,Possible now, at night,Goes out to ...

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The End Of The Library by Weldon Kees

The End Of The Library by Weldon Kees

When the coalGave out, we beganBurning the books, one by one;First the setOf Bulwer-LyttonAnd then the Walter Scott.They gave a lot of warmth.Toward the end, inFebruary, ...

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La Vita Nuova by Weldon Kees

La Vita Nuova by Weldon Kees

Last summer, in the blue heat,Over the beach, in the burning air,A legless beggar lurched on calloused fistsTo where I waited with the sun-dazed birds.He said, "The summer boils ...

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The Bell From Europe by Weldon Kees

The Bell From Europe by Weldon Kees

The tower bell in the Tenth Street ChurchRang out nostalgia for the refugeeWho knew the source of bells by sound.We liked it, but in ignorance.One meets authorities on bells ...

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Dead March by Weldon Kees

Dead March by Weldon Kees

Under the bunker, where the reek of kerosene Prepared the marriage rite, leader and whore, Imperfect kindling even in this wind, burn on.Someone in uniform hums Brahms. Servants ...

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The Beach by Weldon Kees

The Beach by Weldon Kees

Squat, unshaven, full of gas,Joseph Samuels, former clerkin four large cities, out of work,waits in the darkened underpass.In sanctuary, out of reach,he stares at the fading light ...

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Variations On A Theme By Joyce by Weldon Kees

Variations On A Theme By Joyce by Weldon Kees

The war is in words and the wood is the worldThat turns beneath our rootless feet;the vines that reach, alive and snarled,Across the path where the sand is swirled,Twist in the ...

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To A Noisy Contemporary by Weldon Kees

To A Noisy Contemporary by Weldon Kees

Your ego’s bad dream drums that vision Encountered on page one, pages three to eighty-nine. Count the wound-up places where we went aground. As an entertainment, zero. Hero ...

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The Conversation In The Drawing Room by Weldon Kees

The Conversation In The Drawing Room by Weldon Kees

—That spot of blood on the drawing room wall, No larger than a thumbnail when I looked a moment ago, Is spreading, Cousin Agatha, and growing brighter. Nonsense. The oriole ...

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The Climate Of Danger by Weldon Kees

The Climate Of Danger by Weldon Kees

The middle is the place to stand If there can be one solid spot, Undoubted, in that damaged land. Two schools exist; one says there is No region lacking hazard, pain, And fear; ...

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The Party by Weldon Kees

The Party by Weldon Kees

The obscene hostess, mincing in the hall, Gathers the guests around a crystal ball. It is on the whole an exciting moment; Mrs. Lefevre stares with her one good eye; A friendly ...

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Problems Of A Journalist by Weldon Kees

Problems Of A Journalist by Weldon Kees

“I want to get away somewhere and re-read Proust,” Said an editor of Fortune to a man on Time. But the fire roared and died, the phoenix quacked like a goose, And all roads to the ...

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What The Spider Heard by Weldon Kees

What The Spider Heard by Weldon Kees

Will there be time for eggnogs and eclogues In the place where we’re going? Said the spider to the fly. I think not, said the fly. I think not, sang the chorus. I think not, said ...

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Testimonies by Weldon Kees

Testimonies by Weldon Kees

“Others at their porches ...”1. “I baited bears and prayed. The Queen Grew inky on Boethius. Between The angels and the animals we lived and died. The sun, the King, and my own ...

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To Build A Quiet City In His Mind by Weldon Kees

To Build A Quiet City In His Mind by Weldon Kees

To build a quiet city in his mind: A single overwhelming wish; to build, Not hastily, for there is so much wind, So many eager smilers to be killed, Obstructions one might ...

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Relating To Robinson by Weldon Kees

Relating To Robinson by Weldon Kees

Somewhere in Chelsea, early summer; And, walking in the twilight toward the docks, I thought I made out Robinson ahead of me. From an uncurtained second-story room, a radio Was ...

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Lines For An Album by Weldon Kees

Lines For An Album by Weldon Kees

Over the river and through the woods To grandmother’s house we go ... She waits behind the bolted door, Her withered face in thirty pieces, While blood runs thin, and memory, An ...

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Robinson At Home by Weldon Kees

Robinson At Home by Weldon Kees

Curtains drawn back, the door ajar. All winter long, it seemed, a darkening Began. But now the moonlight and the odors of the street Conspire and combine toward one community. ...

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Girl At Midnight by Weldon Kees

Girl At Midnight by Weldon Kees

Then walk the floor, or twist upon your bed While bullets, cold and blind, rush backward from the target’s eye, And say, “I will not dream that dream again. I will not dream Of ...

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Statement With Rhymes by Weldon Kees

Statement With Rhymes by Weldon Kees

Plurality is all. I walk among the restaurants, the theatres, the grocery stores; I ride the cars and hear of Mrs. Bedford’s teeth and Albuquerque, strikes unsettled, someone’s ...

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The Doctor Will Return by Weldon Kees

The Doctor Will Return by Weldon Kees

The surgical mask, the rubber teatAre singed, give off an evil smell.You seem to weep more now that heatSpreads everywhere we look.It says here none of us is well.The warty ...

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