Fall fell: so that's it for the leaf poetry: some flurries have whitened the edges of roads and lawns: time for that, the snow stuff: & turkeys and old St. Nick: where am I going to find something to write about I haven't already written away: I will have to stop short, look down, look up, look close, think, think, think: but in what range should I think: should I figure colors and outlines, given forms, say mailboxes, or should I try to plumb what is behind what and what behind that, deep down where the surface has lost its semblance: or should I think personally, such as, this week seems to have been crafted in hell: what: is something going on: something besides this diddledeediddle everyday matter-of-fact: I could draw up an ancient memory which would wipe this whole presence away: or I could fill out my dreams with high syntheses turned into concrete visionary forms: Lucre could lust for Luster: bad angels could roar out of perdition and kill the AIDS vaccine not quite perfected yet: the gods could get down on each other; the big gods could fly in from nebulae unknown: but I'm only me: I have 4 interests--money, poetry, sex, death: I guess I can jostle those. . . .
A. R. Ammons - 1926-2001
In View of the Fact
The people of my time are passing away: my wife is baking for a funeral, a 60-year-old who died suddenly, when the phone rings, and it's Ruth we care so much about in intensive care: it was once weddings that came so thick and fast, and then, first babies, such a hullabaloo: now, it's this that and the other and somebody else gone or on the brink: well, we never thought we would live forever (although we did) and now it looks like we won't: some of us are losing a leg to diabetes, some don't know what they went downstairs for, some know that a hired watchful person is around, some like to touch the cane tip into something steady, so nice: we have already lost so many, brushed the loss of ourselves ourselves: our address books for so long a slow scramble now are palimpsests, scribbles and scratches: our index cards for Christmases, birthdays, Halloweens drop clean away into sympathies: at the same time we are getting used to so many leaving, we are hanging on with a grip to the ones left: we are not giving up on the congestive heart failure or brain tumors, on the nice old men left in empty houses or on the widows who decide to travel a lot: we think the sun may shine someday when we'll drink wine together and think of what used to be: until we die we will remember every single thing, recall every word, love every loss: then we will, as we must, leave it to others to love, love that can grow brighter and deeper till the very end, gaining strength and getting more precious all the way. . . .