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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, November 23, 2016.
About this Poem 

“I fear that some of you will turn your heads away from this poem as from an unpleasant smell on the subway, when it is revealed to you that two lines are borrowed from Yeats’s The Wild Swans at Coole.’ And I got the title from a student’s paper: his name is Divine and his assignment was called Overdose’ and when I wrote that down as the subject heading, I liked it. The LP of poetry is the new Eileen Myles LP which I keep listening to.”

—Matthew Rohrer

Divine Overdose

We are even more modern
we are free
not to know
pining pining
til the trees are in
their autumn beauty
who knows why
we are free
an LP of poetry
left on in the apartment
while I walk my love
to the subway
she turns to gold
in the light banking off
the ball-fields
and to have to think
of that small
pale body asleep
I return I take the stairs
3 at a time
and now my heart is sore

Copyright © 2016 by Matthew Rohrer. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 23, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2016 by Matthew Rohrer. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 23, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

Matthew Rohrer

Matthew Rohrer

Born in 1970, Matthew Rohrer is the author of several poetry collections, including Surrounded by Friends (Wave Books, 2015), Rise Up (Wave Books, 2007), and A Hummock in the Malookas, which was selected by Mary Oliver for the 1994 National Poetry Series. 

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Then there was the night I decided that if I ignored everyone
I would transcend,

so I covered my ears with my hands,
stepped off the porch and rose like a wet crow

and the sprinklers chattered to each other over the fences.
And "How long will you be gone?" my neighbor called nervously,
my neighbor whose saw I
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Central Park in a
pavilion of leaves
with extra sauce
for midday
is only a snack
and a photograph
of cold cherries
like a young woman's
legs softly peeling
after burning
a pennywhistle
in the distance
with the piping children's
voices which are

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If you, Tom, could see this inflight video map

of the world turning wildly on its axis

you would not, I think, be mad, though it is not

on paper, and that is what you do, but it is

a useful thing to see the earth twisted up like this;

it is our minds that are