Poem-A-Day

Poem-a-Day is the original and only daily digital poetry series featuring over 200 new, previously unpublished poems by today's talented poets each year. On weekdays, poems are accompanied by exclusive commentary by the poets. The series highlights classic poems on weekends. Launched in 2006, Poem-a-Day is now distributed via email, web, and social media to 300,000+ readers free of charge and is available for syndication by King Features.

More Stones

About this Poem 

“I never know where a poem is headed, but I was thinking of Phil Levine. He was my teacher when I was a kid of nineteen, and his poetry, guidance, and encouragement meant/mean more than he’d have known.”
Andrea Cohen

More Stones

Andrea Cohen

for Philip Levine

 

Donald Justice has died twice:
once in Miami, in the sun, on a Sunday,
and once in Iowa City, on a Friday
in August, which was not without
its own sunif not bright spot.
The first time he died, he was thinking
of Vallejo, who died in Paris, maybe
on a Thursday, surely in rain.
Vallejo died again in Paris,
in April, of an unknown illness
which may have been malaria,
as fictionalized in Bolaño’s
Monsieur Pain. “There is, brothers,
very much to do,” Vallejo said
between his deaths, and Phil,
you must have died once
in Seville, in the land of Machado,
before going again last Saturday
in Fresno, so you no longer write
to us or bring in trash bins filled
with light. Phil, I will die, maybe
on a Sunday in Wellfleet, because
today it is Sunday, and ice
is jamming the eaves, and there
is nowhere to put the snow
that keeps recalling all
those other snows—
or the stones on more stones.
 

Copyright © 2015 by Andrea Cohen. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 28, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2015 by Andrea Cohen. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 28, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

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