Jack Spicer

(30 January 1925 - 17 August 1965 / Los Angeles, California)

Berkeley in Time of Plague


Plague took us and the land from under us,
Rose like a boil, enclosing us within.
We waited and the blue skies writhed awhile
Becoming black with death.

Plague took us and the chairs from under us,
Stepped cautiously while entering the room
(We were discussing Yeats): it paused awhile
Then smiled and made us die.

Plague took us, laughed, and reproportioned us,
Swelled us to dizzy, unaccustomed size.
We died prodigiously; it hurt awhile
But left a certain quiet in our eyes.

Submitted: Saturday, May 05, 2012

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