poem index


James Arthur

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James Arthur

James Arthur is the author of Charms Against Lightning (Copper Canyon Press, 2012). He teaches at Johns Hopkins University and lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

by this poet


O hefty hardcover on the built-in shelf in my parents’ living
O authority stamped on linen paper, molted from your dust
      jacket ,
Questing Beast of blue and gold, you were my companion

on beige afternoons that came slanting through the curtains
behind the rough


I used to be as unsentimental as anyone could be.
Now I’m almost absurd, a clown, carrying you on my shoulders
around and around Palmer Square, through the cold night wind,
as stores lock up, and begin closing down. Goodnight,

fair trade coffee. Goodnight, Prada shoes. Goodnight soon,