Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


The Case for Memory


I was amok & fearless
twice deceived
for which I sought out
satisfactions
in a tree.  Too carelessly
I reached for love
& beaten down
I found you
in a froth or frenzy
spent my days around
the pan yards.
I would ask no help from those
whose trust is weak
but I would buy the latest
& the least. 
I live for something practical
--the case for memory--
I set one foot into the space
the others leave abandoned.
Not your lord or slave
I meet you
in an equal clash of wills
& face you down.
I only touch the ground 
on Sundays

Credit


From A Book of Witness by Jerome Rothenberg. Copyright © 2003 by Jerome Rothenberg. Reprinted by permission of New Directions. All rights reserved.

Author


Jerome Rothenberg

Poet, editor, and translator, Jerome Rothenberg has published over seventy books and pamphlets of poetry and is known for being at the forefront of American ethnopoetics.

Date Published: 2003-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/case-memory