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« from "Julius Jaffe: The Analects" (3) (by Mitch Sisskind) | Main | "Texting" [by David Lehman, in "The American Journal of Poetry"] »

April 17, 2020


Well, I played ping pong with Kenneth a lot, mainly at the table in the basement of the house in Bridgehampton. And, yes, he was pretty good. I would not say he cheated, but he did have some strange mannerisms. He liked to wave his arms around, liked to start a discussion about poetry, liked to ask a good personal question, just as you were or he was going to serve. He also didn’t like to lose. Ever. He could be like that at most sports at which he excelled, tennis especially. Once Gore Vidal (!) remarked to me what a fierce competitor he was at badminton. Greatest of the New York School? My former professor, my father-in-law, fellow poet, and good close friend? I think so.

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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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