Sunday, February 26, 2012


Photo by D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove

—Tom Goff, Carmichael

I don’t need that James Wright poem,
not the lightest smallest step out of my
scrawny body, to break into blossom.
If the blossoms themselves hadn’t
come—ye gods, in February!—I would still be
right here, shaken by petalled paroxysm,
minus the lovely nuzzling horses you speak of,
Mr. Wright. Every late winter the same
early heart-lurch into spring; John Keats
dies his annual Roman death in lungblood
and rises, young poet-god. In California,
the light few rains, Christ’s blood,
the stamens, anthers, petals, Christ’s body,
for we live here, hammock slung between
shore and mountain, in humble
sacrament. I love the poet-wife who
beguiled me long ago with lyrics
of “Sweet serpent supper,” but then,
I can cook up my own helpings of sin,
frothing, toxic, and gorgeous.



Thanks, Tom and D.R. If you don't know the James Wright poem Tom is talking about, see