William Matthews Poems
|5.||A Small Room In Aspen||4/21/2010|
|7.||Foul Shots: A Clinic||4/21/2010|
|8.||A Life Of Crime||4/21/2010|
|10.||A Roadside Near Ithaca||4/21/2010|
|11.||A Happy Childhood||4/21/2010|
|12.||On The Porch At The Frost Place, Franconia, N. H.||1/13/2003|
|13.||Poem (The Lump Of Coal My Parents Teased)||1/13/2003|
|14.||Mingus At The Showplace||1/13/2003|
|18.||Homer's Seeing-Eye Dog||1/13/2003|
|20.||A Poetry Reading At West Point||1/13/2003|
A Poetry Reading At West Point
I read to the entire plebe class,
in two batches. Twice the hall filled
with bodies dressed alike, each toting
a copy of my book. What would my
shrink say, if I had one, about
such a dream, if it were a dream?
Question and answer time.
"Sir," a cadet yelled from the balcony,
and gave his name and rank, and then,
closing his parentheses, yelled
"Sir" again. "Why do your poems give
me a headache when I try
to understand them?" he asked. "Do
you want that?" I have a gift for
gentle jokes to defuse tension,
but this was not the time to use ...
What did I think, a storm clutching a clarinet
and boarding a downtown bus, headed for lessons?
I had pieces to learn by heart, but at twelve
you think the heart and memory are different.
"'It's a poor sort of memory that only works
backwards,' the Queen remarked." Alice in Wonderland.
Although I knew the way music can fill a room,