Death of the Author

A small pin-striped bird alights
on the dead cherry tree next to the porch
& starts gleaning its breakfast
from crevasses in the decaying wood.
At length I remember its name,
black-and-white warbler
& in so doing, forget the name of the author
whose Collected Shorter Poems I hold
in my lap. They’re orphaned for more
than a minute by my poor memory.
If I can just get the first letter…
something beginning with a G, perhaps?
That letter like a smile
warped into a grimace…
Or a T, that tall gallows.
The warbler stops to issue his usual
six whispery notes. Bill Knott.

*

I’m the proud owner of 15 new “homepubs”—homemade publications—from the great contemporary poet Bill Knott, who prints them up and bundles them off along with a limited edition print and an original painting to anyone who orders a painting through his website. Check it out. I find I like the whole concept of home pub, especially now that I have a new batch of homebrew ready to drink (more on that soon).

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