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Online Poems--Robert Creeley

Still Life Or

                that the wind can catch at,
against itself,
                        a leaf or a contrivance of wires,
in the stairwell,
to be looked at from below.

We have arranged the form of a formula here,
have taken the heart out
                                        & the wind
is vague emotion.

To count on these aspirants
these contenders for the to-be-looked-at part
of these actions
                                these most hopeful movements
a strong & constant wind.
                                        That will not rise above the speed
which we have calculated,
                                    that the leaf
                that the wires
be not too much shaken.

1987 Robert Creeley
Online Source:


Locate I
love you
where in

teeth and
eyes, bite
it but

take care not
to hurt, you
want so

much so
little. Words
say everything.

love you


then what
is emptiness
for. To

fill, fill.
I heard words
and words full
of holes
aching. Speech
is a mouth.

1987 Robert Creeley
Online Source:


Like kid on float
of ice block sinking
in pond the field had made
from winter's melting snow

so wisdom accumulated
to disintegrate
in conduits of brain
in neural circuits faded

while gloomy muscles shrank
mind padded the paths
its thought had wrought
its habits had created

till like kid afloat
on ice block broken
on or inside the thing it stood
or was forsaken.

Online Source:


Now I recognize
it was always me
like a camera
set to expose

itself to a picture
or a pipe
through which the water
might run

or a chicken
dead for dinner
or a plan
inside the head

of a dead man.
Nothing so wrong
when one considered
how it all began.

It was Zukofsky's
"Born very young into a world
already very old..."
The century was well along

when I came in
and now that it's ending,
I realize it won't
be long.

But couldn't it all have been
a little nicer,
as my mother'd say. Did it
have to kill everything in sight,

did right always have to be so wrong?
I know this body is impatient.
I know I constitute only a meager voice and mind.
Yet I loved, I love.

I want no sentimentality.
I want no more than home.

"Goodbye" first appeared in The Exquisite Corpse (1996)
Online Source:


for Mark Peters

Not just nothing,
Not there's no answer,
Not it's nowhere or
Nothing to show for it -

It's like There's no past like
the present. It's
all over with us.
There are no doors...

Oh my god! Like
I wish I had a dog.
Oh my god!
I had a dog but he's gone.

His name was Zero,
something for nothing!
You like dog biscuits?
Fill in the blank.

Online Source:

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