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Birthday Poems

97 Reasons to Celebrate Stanley Moss on June 21

Stanley Moss
Because you stand still long enough to gather the finest moss.
Because you stand.
​Because you roll.
Because you rolled 197 topping​ all competitors at Neptune Lanes.
Because you're Stan the Man.
Because we had lunch at Lupa on Thompson just off Houston.
Because you know Irwin Shaw and forgot to tell him.
Because you are a bronze satyr.
Because of Wystan.
Because of César Vallejo
Because one Stanley deserves another
Because if you're Stanley I'm a living stone
Because of Kunitz and Moss
Because the angel was wrong but angelic 
Because it's better to be angelic than right
Because when you were 82 it was fifteen years ago. Just think of it.
Because of European painting.
Because of Rome and Barcelona.
Because there are ninety-seven bottles of beer on the wall.
Because I'm just getting started.
Because God breaketh not all men's hearts alike.
Because I believe in God.
Because 81% of Americans believe in god.
Because of what happens if you put "only" before "81%": in that sentence.
Because I capitalize the God I believe in.
Because of the history of color.
Because of the intelligence of clouds.
Because you speaketh the truth.
Because of your stance, Stan.
Because of Yale and the Navy.
Because very few poets were born during the summer solstice.
Because your ideal age is 32.
Because I could devote 65 more lines to celebrate your birthday.

July 28, 2020

July 06, 2020

June 11, 2020

June 10, 2020

June 09, 2020

June 01, 2020

May 21, 2020

May 06, 2020

April 29, 2020

February 21, 2020

February 20, 2020

February 13, 2020

October 20, 2019

October 14, 2019

July 24, 2019

July 19, 2019

July 16, 2019

June 10, 2019

June 09, 2019

June 01, 2019

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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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