Whatever the lesson was, it wasn't taking. We awaited the information in kind of a corporate way and I kept wanting to go up to the whiteboard and write FEMININE MARVELOUS AND TOUGH and ask Is that what you're trying to do. Sometimes it's hard to figure out how to move. When cardinals move, they're as imposing
sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox
Whether by Drowning or by Stars
When everyone was granted their childhood
wish for invisibility, it turned out
to be less erotically useful than we all
had imagined. Since then the first
legitimately wild idea I had I tamed
and named Thom Yorke, after a pony
who’d clomped among the precincts
of my visible youth, refusing
to be rode, my use of the word first
also proving to have been based
on an unfounded sense of possibility
that ill-defines my generation still.
Hidden message: we cannot measure
the corruption of our age
but we can make the heat of it
ever hotter by leaping onto the pyre.
On hearing the kvetching of coyotes
in an August night, my doppelganger
climbs up out of the lake
and into a constellation—when light
and death both want you,
one of them might not get its way.
I’ve given names to a dozen other ideas
and deleted those names
because who could they ever have saved.
Impossibly sweet and recalcitrant
old Thom Yorke though,
best pony anybody knew.
Mark Bibbins, born in Albany, New York, in 1968, received his BA at Hunter College and his MFA at The New School in Manhattan, where he has lived since 1991.
Bibbins is the author of three books of poetry: They Don’t Kill You Because They’re Hungry, They Kill You Because They’re Full (Copper Canyon Press, 2014); The Dance of No Hard Feelings (Copper Canyon Press, 2009); and Sky Lounge (Graywolf Press, 2003), winner of a Lambda Literary Award.