poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

About this poet

Joshua Beckman was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and earned his BA from Hampshire College, where he studied poetry and the art of the book. He is the author of five books of poetry: Things Are Happening (1998); Something I Expected To Be Different (2001); Nice Hat. Thanks. (2002), written with Matthew Rohrer; Your Time Has Come (2004), and most recently, Shake (Wave Books, 2006).

He has numerous books of translation, including the forthcoming Five Meters of Poems by Carlos Oquendo de Amat, and Poker by Tomaž Šalamun (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2003) which was a finalist for the PEN Poetry in Translation Award. He is also an editor at Wave Books, a poetry press based in Seattle and New York.

[In Colorado, In Oregon, upon]

Joshua Beckman
In Colorado, In Oregon, upon	
each beloved fork, a birthday is celebrated.
I miss each and every one of my friends.
I believe in getting something for nothing.
Push the chair, and what I can tell you 
with almost complete certainty
is that the chair won't mind.
And beyond hope,
I expect it is like this everywhere. 
Music soothing people.
Change rolling under tables.
The immaculate cutoff so that we may continue.
A particular pair of trees waking up against the window.
This partnership of mind, and always now
in want of forgiveness. That forgiveness be
the domain of the individual,
like music or personal investment.
Great forward-thinking people brought us
the newspaper, and look what we have done.
It is time for forgiveness. Dear ones,
unmistakable quality will soon be upon us.
Don't wait for anything else.

Joshua Beckman, "[In Colorado, In Oregon, upon]" from Take It. Copyright © 2009 by Joshua Beckman. Used by permission of Wave Books. All rights reserved.

Joshua Beckman, "[In Colorado, In Oregon, upon]" from Take It. Copyright © 2009 by Joshua Beckman. Used by permission of Wave Books. All rights reserved.

Joshua Beckman

Joshua Beckman was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and earned his BA

by this poet

poem
Melbourne, Perth, Darwin, Townsville,
Belém, Durban, Lima, Xai-Xai planes
with wingspans big as high schools
eight hundred nine hundred tons a piece
gone like pollen, cumulus cirrus
altostratus nimbostratus people getting skinny
just trying to lose weight and the sky
the biggest thing anyone ever thought of
poem

I’m not with my blue toes or my doggies
nor am I under any arched roof rotting blossoms
in my drain, sunlight pouncing upon me,
nor am I fixed like a tree, nor am I unfixed
like a wind. I ate an apple, that’s fine
and after Anthony left I got a whiskey.
I stared a bit like a shadow at

poem

The going. The letters. The staying.
The life of the little boy. The staying
and the life of the little boy. The
letter. The mushrooms. Dear Mom,
I’m writing to say how good it felt
when we took the mushrooms. Our skin.
The boy getting on the bus and the
street lamp. It’s getting