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


Hey Phil

for Phil Levine, RIP

They are writing about you Phil—you know
good stuff—the prizes     Detroit and that
poem where you said in past lives you
were a wild sun-crested fox being chased
by “ladies and gentlemen on horseback”—
you said you would wake up with the poem
ready that it slipped untangled from a dream
all you had to do was sit up and write
the stage was a poem too—even though
most of us were too prepared you
preferred to joke before we went on
before the poetry light hit us on the face
it did not matter to you—you just carved
chiseled punctured rotated jitterbugged
and whirred past a distant gate

(2-14-2015)

Credit


Copyright © 2015 by Juan Felipe Herrera. Used with permission of City Lights Books. 

Author


Juan Felipe Herrera

Juan Felipe Herrera is the Poet Laureate of the United States. He served on the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets from 2011 to 2016.

Date Published: 2016-05-05

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/hey-phil