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October 02, 2020


High summer

Elm elm. nice nice
that was
hot all tame backstroke
"duck duck" the girl
January of summer
of never

Glen Hartley said...

High summer

Elm elm. nice nice
that was
hot all tame backstroke
no earth ever;
mosquito they cry
"duck duck" the girl
January of summer
of never
Elm earth

We learn the poet prefers oak-aged booze.
Trees now resemble paddles to him (a wish to be reproved?)
and he would rather look at the sky.
He has poor personal hygiene (too much drinking).
His son would like to head south
To Florida once more,
But his dad the poet would rather drink and stare at the sky.

We learn the poet likes elm trees.
During hot weather he prefers to swim with a smooth and steady rhythm
While not touching bottom.
People shout about blood-sucking insects
And a young woman warns he may get bitten,
which gives him a chill,
but he tells himself it is all an illusion.

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That Ship Has Sailed
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


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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