But We Are All the Scattered Matter of Dead Stars, My Dear

This is a biography of your lungs & their wet battle against oxygen how they root through your chest like vines among the hackberry. Built of birds nests, thin tangles of copper wiring: better off in your skete, better before Aristotle said man is a political animal. Better built from …

SONNET 138

When my love swears that she is made of truth I do believe her, though I know she lies, That she might think me some untutor’d youth, Unlearned in the world’s false subtleties. Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young, Although she knows my days are past the best, …

Berryman

I will tell you what he told me in the years just after the war as we then called the second world war don’t lose your arrogance yet he said you can do that when you’re older lose it too soon and you may merely replace it with vanity just …

Marginalia

Sometimes the notes are ferocious, skirmishes against the author raging along the borders of every page in tiny black script. If I could just get my hands on you, Kierkegaard, or Conor Cruise O’Brien, they seem to say, I would bolt the door and beat some logic into your head. …