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Harvey Shapiro

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Harvey Shapiro, born January 27, 1924, is the author of The Sights Along the Harbor: New and Collected Poems (Wesleyan University Press, 2009), How Charlie Shavers Died and Other Poems (Wesleyan University Press, 2001), and National Cold Storage Company: New and Selected Poems (Wesleyan University Press, 1988), among others. He died on January 7, 2013.

by this poet


1. Caught on a side street in heavy traffic, I said to the cabbie, I should have walked. He replied, I should have been a doctor. 2. When can I get on the 11:33 I ask the guy in the information booth at the Atlantic Avenue Station. When they open the doors, he says. I am home among my people.


Drunk and weeping. It’s another night
at the live-in opera, and I figure
it’s going to turn out badly for me.
The dead next door accept their salutations,
their salted notes, the drawn-out wailing.
It’s we the living who must run for cover,
meaning me. Mortality’s the ABC of it,