[Whenever I Make a New Poem,]
Whenever I make a new poem,
the old ones sound like gibberish.
How can they ever make sense in a book?
Let them say:
“He seems to have lived in the mountains.
He traveled now and then.
When he appeared in cities,
he was almost always drunk.
“Most of his poems are lost.
Many of those we have were found in
letters to his friends.
“He had a very large number of friends.”
From Ring of Bone: Collected Poems (New & Expanded Edition), edited by Donald Allen © 2012 by the Estate of Lew Welch.