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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, December 30, 2015.
About this Poem 

“There are a lot of self-portraits or faux self-portraits in my forthcoming book, Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry, as the title might suggest. In this poem, I had been thinking about unusual self-portraits, in particular portraits at the moment of death (rare) as opposed to those at the moment of birth (legion). And I began wondering if death were not something new but later something intimately known; the comfortable welcoming place we were before we were born.”
Dean Rader

Alternate Self-Portrait

One day

I will drift

into darkness

and know it

perhaps

the way a son

recognizes a mother

after he has returned

from many years

of travel

understanding

the new distance

is neither

beginning nor

end

only stillness
 

Copyright © 2015 by Dean Rader. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 30, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2015 by Dean Rader. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 30, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Dean Rader

Dean Rader

Dean Rader is the author of Self-Portrait as a Wikipedia Entry (Copper Canyon Press, 2017) and Landscape Portrait Figure Form (Omnidawn Chapbook Series, 2014). He teaches at the University of San Francisco and lives in San Francisco.

by this poet

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The news this morning
said that Ramadi
had fallen to ISIS
and that the president
did not have a plan
to push them back
into the Anbar province
though I have a plan
to walk down to the
beach in silence perhaps
where I will stand
in water the temperature
of

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