— I have a notebook which I had forgotten writing, some 5 years ago, and I came across it in the Fall. Each page, which I never do in a notebook, was part of a sequence of some 50 pieces or more. I find/found myself doing this over the past 12 years or so, perhaps it was another way to kind of forget that I had written something, to then come across it sometimes, quite a few years later, and read it as a ’stranger’. Similarly some of the poems below, such as The Artist, I found written on a Neruda book.
DEATH IN REVERSE
Some index for clerical men and clerical women.
Some shadows. Some thin green.
Some index for men and women of the clergy.
A patient throbbing meant for them.
Pain: found. Loneliness: to a wound and an ear.
Starlight odd, much else. Death
in reverse, minimized, backwards.
NORTH OF YOURSELF
“I don’t mean
north of 14th Street,
I mean north of
A bed in another corner of the house.
Or the house in the dreamer’s dream.
Darkness and more darkness and then a face renamed.
In a neighborhood without much space.
Eva Hesse – partly killed or diseased by necessary chemicals.
Which were also as part of the structures killing the structures.
The space is altered.
Not tiny like your changed name but tiny and still.
Michael Burkard was born in 1947 in Rome, New York. He is the author of eleven collections of poetry, including ENVELOPE OF NIGHT: SELECTED AND UNCOLLECTED POEMS 1966-1990. He has received numerous awards, including the Alice Fay DiCastagnola award (1986) and the Whiting Writers’ award (1988). He teaches at Syracuse University.