Of Being Numerous, 13

- 1908-1984
          unable to begin
At the beginning, the fortunate
Find everything already here. They are shoppers,
Choosers, judges; . . . And here the brutal
is without issue, a dead end.
                                          They develop
Argument in order to speak, they become
unreal, unreal, life loses
solidity, loses extent, baseball's their game
because baseball is not a game
but an argument and difference of opinion
makes the horse races. They are ghosts that endanger

One's soul. There is change
In an air
That smells stale, they will come to the end
Of an era
First of all peoples
And one may honorably keep
His distance
If he can.

More by George Oppen

Who Shall Doubt

consciousness

        in itself

of itself carrying

    'the principle
        of the actual' being

actual

itself ((but maybe this is a love 
poem

Mary) ) nevertheless

        neither

the power
of the self nor the racing 
car nor the lilly

        is sweet but this

Psalm

Veritas sequitur ... 


In the small beauty of the forest 
The wild deer bedding down—

That they are there! 
                        
                              Their eyes 
Effortless, the soft lips 
Nuzzle and the alien small teeth 
Tear at the grass 

                              The roots of it 
Dangle from their mouths 
Scattering earth in the strange woods. 
They who are there. 

                              Their paths 
Nibbled thru the fields, the leaves that shade them 
Hang in the distances 
Of sun 

                              The small nouns 
Crying faith 
In this in which the wild deer 
Startle, and stare out.