For Gerrit


What is poetry? an image
      in the mirror;
reflection from a broadside
    pinned to the wall,
    penned by a friend,
        from where old feelings
        old meanings arise;
relief from pain; the diligence of work.

Mysterious words upon a page in adolescence;
listening to poets read. What is poetry?
       Breath, competence, success
or simply Eros.
                          “Four sides to every thing.”

The increase in electricity causes lights to flow.
   Is it only light, or heat,
      words ordered in a row.
Men or gods. I’ll never know
      or try to know
          more than the doing,
                  the flowing
rain upon the roof. That one hears,
                  and reveres
inside, away from the cold
    within the house
       where the heat

reminds one of what it is to be like
               out in the cold
   rushing over the field

Intelligence or emotion?     language.

From Supplication: Selected Poems of John Wieners, edited by Joshua Beckman, CAConrad, and Robert Dewhurst © 2015 John Wieners Literary Trust, Raymond Foye, Administrator. Reprinted with the permission of The John Wieners Literary Trust.