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About this poet

Joshua Beckman was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and earned his BA from Hampshire College, where he studied poetry and the art of the book. He is the author of five books of poetry: Things Are Happening (1998); Something I Expected To Be Different (2001); Nice Hat. Thanks. (2002), written with Matthew Rohrer; Your Time Has Come (2004), and most recently, Shake (Wave Books, 2006).

He has numerous books of translation, including the forthcoming Five Meters of Poems by Carlos Oquendo de Amat, and Poker by Tomaž Šalamun (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2003) which was a finalist for the PEN Poetry in Translation Award. He is also an editor at Wave Books, a poetry press based in Seattle and New York.

The going. The letters. The staying.

Joshua Beckman

The going. The letters. The staying.
The life of the little boy. The staying
and the life of the little boy. The
letter. The mushrooms. Dear Mom,
I’m writing to say how good it felt
when we took the mushrooms. Our skin.
The boy getting on the bus and the
street lamp. It’s getting cooler. The life
of the little boy. The life of the little boy.
The going. The letters. It’s getting cooler.
It’s a little bit better. We took the
mushrooms and got on the crowded bus.
I’m writing to say how everyone seemed.

From SHADE 2006 Copyright © 2006 by Four Way Books. By permission of Four Way Books. All rights reserved.

From SHADE 2006 Copyright © 2006 by Four Way Books. By permission of Four Way Books. All rights reserved.

Joshua Beckman

Joshua Beckman was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and earned his BA

by this poet

poem
In Colorado, In Oregon, upon	
each beloved fork, a birthday is celebrated.
I miss each and every one of my friends.
I believe in getting something for nothing.
Push the chair, and what I can tell you 
with almost complete certainty
is that the chair won't mind.
And beyond hope,
I expect it is like this
poem
Melbourne, Perth, Darwin, Townsville,
Belém, Durban, Lima, Xai-Xai planes
with wingspans big as high schools
eight hundred nine hundred tons a piece
gone like pollen, cumulus cirrus
altostratus nimbostratus people getting skinny
just trying to lose weight and the sky
the biggest thing anyone ever thought of
poem
Seagulls beside ferry boat.
They're people-watching.