poem index

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

April 23, 2008 New York Public Library, Mulberry Branch From the Academy Audio Archive

A Pot of Tea

Richard Kenney
Loose leaves in a metal ball
Or men in a shark cage steeping,
Ideas stain the limpid mind
Even while it’s sleeping:

Ginseng or the scent of lymph
Or consequences queasing
Into wide awareness, whence,
Like an engine seizing

Society remits a shudder
Showing it has feeling,
And the divers all have shaving cuts
And the future’s in Darjeeling—


Blind, the brain stem bumps the bars
Of the shark cage, meanwhile, feeding,
And the tea ball’s cracked, its leaves cast
To catastrophic reading:

Ideas are too dangerous.
My love adjusts an earring.
I take her in my arms again
And think of Hermann Göring,

And all liquidities in which
A stain attracts an eating,
And of my country’s changing heart,
And hell, where the blood is sleeting.

From The One-Strand River by Richard Kenney. Copyright © 2008 by Richard Kenney. Reprinted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf. All rights reserved.

From The One-Strand River by Richard Kenney. Copyright © 2008 by Richard Kenney. Reprinted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf. All rights reserved.

Richard Kenney

by this poet

poem

 

Click the icon above to listen to this audio poem.

poem

 

Click the icon above to listen to this audio poem.