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FURTHER READING
Poems by Darcie Dennigan
The Feeling of the World As a Bounded Whale Is the Mystical [The child affixes]
Sentimental Atom Smasher
Poems about the Afterlife
Advice to Passengers
by John Gallaher
Beyond Even This
by Maggie Anderson
Beyond the Years
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Cruel Cogito
by Ken Chen
Descriptions of Heaven and Hell
by Mark Jarman
Gone
by Lia Purpura
Heaven for Helen
by Mark Doty
How Can It Be I Am No Longer I
by Lucie Brock-Broido
In a Country
by Larry Levis
Larry Levis in Provincetown
by Rick Hilles
Mummy of a Lady Named Jemutesonekh
XXI Dynasty

by Thomas James
Populating Heaven
by Maureen N. McLane
Purgatory
by Maxine Kumin
Red String
by Minnie Bruce Pratt
Song ["When I am dead, my dearest"]
by Christina Rossetti
The Book of the Dead Man (Food)
by Marvin Bell
The Odyssey, Book 11: ll. 538-556
by Rowan Ricardo Phillips
Poems about Living
"I'm afraid of death"
by Kathleen Ossip
A Toast
by Ilya Kaminsky
Another Elegy
by Jericho Brown
Ashes of Life
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
August, 1953
by David Wojahn
bonne chance de lycee
by Buck Downs
C'est La Guerre
by Danniel Schoonebeek
Characteristics of Life
by Camille T. Dungy
Corpse Flower, Luna Moth
by Daniel Tobin
Costumes Exchanging Glances
by Mary Jo Bang
Daily Life
by Susan Wood
Difficult Body
by Mark Wunderlich
Elegy in Joy [excerpt]
by Muriel Rukeyser
far memory
by Lucille Clifton
First Things to Hand
by Robert Pinsky
Flowers of Rad
by Sampson Starkweather
Forth Into View, Random Warriors
by Pattiann Rogers
from Oracles for Youth
by Caroline Gilman
from Two Inch Fables
by Marilyn Chin
Frozen
by Natasha Head
How to Uproot a Tree
by Jennifer K. Sweeney
I could suffice for Him, I knew (643)
by Emily Dickinson
I Have a Rendezvous With Life
by Countee Cullen
I Know A Few Things
by Stuart Dischell
In a Landscape: IV
by John Gallaher
In Betweenness
by Pierre Joris
Insomnia
by Alicia Suskin Ostriker
Life
by Joe Brainard
Life is Fine
by Langston Hughes
Little Night Prayer
by Péter Kántor
Living in Numbers
by Claire Lee
Lost and Found
by Ron Padgett
Mass for the Day of St. Thomas Didymus [excerpt]
by Denise Levertov
Meaning
by Carl Dennis
Meditation 29
by Philip Pain
Montparnasse
by Ernest Hemingway
My Teacup
by Alli Warren
On Disappearing
by Major Jackson
On Living
by Nazim Hikmet
On the Gallows Once
by Kofi Awoonor
One Train May Hide Another
by Kenneth Koch
Past Inclemency & Present Warmth
by Eryn Green
Poem Excluding Fiction
by Noah Falck
Preparation
by Effie Waller Smith
Primitive State [excerpt]
by Anselm Berrigan
Roar Shack
by Alice Fulton
Samurai Song
by Robert Pinsky
Song for Future Books
by Joanna Fuhrman
Songs of a Girl
by Mary Carolyn Davies
Sonnet
by Bill Knott
Spent
by Mark Doty
sugar is smoking
by Jason Schneiderman
Summer in Winter in Summer
by Noah Eli Gordon
Tear It Down
by Jack Gilbert
The Clouded Morning
by Jones Very
The Layers
by Stanley Kunitz
The Life So Short...
by Eamon Grennan
The Old Stoic
by Emily Brontë
The Pain
by Laura Kasischke
The Secret
by Denise Levertov
This is My Life
by William Stanley Braithwaite
Thoughts
by Walt Whitman
Thrown as if Fierce & Wild
by Dean Young
Variation on a Theme
by W. S. Merwin
Virgil's Hand
by Francesc Parcerisas
What the Living Do
by Marie Howe
What Wild-Eyed Murderer
by Peter Meinke
What's Left (Al-Mutanabbi Street)
by Katrina Roberts
Where I Live
by Maxine Kumin
won't you celebrate with me
by Lucille Clifton
Yellow Beak
by Stephen Dobyns
[I'm not with my]
by Joshua Beckman
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En Route

 
by Darcie Dennigan

The infant asleep in the trough is a Buddhist.
This time of year is very, very old. Over eggs, 
that is all we can conclude, us who are asleep, 
who are dreaming this long dream. 
What if this infant could be awoken? 
There is someone in heaven who for centuries 
an infinite number of centuries, has been 
perfecting himself. Is he here now with us, 
watching for a red globe to roll off the tree into 
wretchedness? To pick up the crying infant is to 
teach it trust and love. But to suffer: 
babe-in-the-manger, we will all be 
the dead man if we live long enough. If we are 
even alive. I am not sure that I exist right now, 
actually.  (I have been a word in a book
I have been a tree
high, high above the Tuileries!)
This infant must learn to cry itself to sleep.
This infant must learn to dream itself awake.
Please god continue my own dreams into 
infinity: must get glitter glue to spell our names 
on the stockings. No, must awake from this 
world. He is crying. No not “he.” Say “it is 
crying.” It is snowing. It is crying. This time of 
year is old. The cold and dark: were they 
not made for us to hold the infant against? 
Shouldn’t we name ourselves and the things 
we love? (darcie.carl.remy.fiammetta.december) 
Of the six destinies they say to be human is the 
hardest but it is the one I have loved the most.
Perhaps because I have not suffered enough.
This time of year might be ancient. Older than 
suffering. If this world were a dream, we would 
speak of it, for the root of dream is noise. Yet! 
The infant is he who is unable to speak… It is 
unspeakable. The infant cries. It pains me.
Oh brusque intuition, oh illogic answer…
I will arrive at you.
About this poem:
"Dear Reader,
I want you to know I stole the most joyful moment of this poem from Catherine Barnett. I would also like to give you a quote from Jorge Luis Borges's lecture on Buddhism: ‘Plotin says that passing from one life to another is like sleeping in different beds in different rooms.’ At the end of the lecture, Borges says that Buddhism is the path to salvation for millions of people. But he adds, ‘not for me.’”

—Darcie Dennigan






Copyright © 2014 by Darcie Dennigan. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on January 31, 2014. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.
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