Published on Academy of American Poets (

On Strings of Blue

for Bill Berkson

Was it tonight’s
remark or his
exquisite song-book
on stage?
My outside life
has turned itself in,
any opening
up at all
is no small feat
when romancing
the edge
of an echo
Smoke in the
dream and rest
in bed,
For all we
and I’ll
be seeing you,
Carnegie Hall
“More light please”
Bill Berkson
will read from
John Wieners
in my wooden
house across
the street (brown
with golden couch)
his sounding out
The Cut, “Not a woman
passed unloved, not
one eye filled
was addressed.”
His voice held
the cleanest
copy one
could find,
We scraped
syllables off
the same records,
It’s that old
feeling and
I’ve got it bad,
straight starlight
the big (night)
sky, cool air
unveiled by Bill


Copyright © 2016 by Cedar Sigo. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 18, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“‘On Strings of Blue’ was written in the immediate aftermath of Bill Berkson’s death. We would visit each other quite often discussing poems, poets, singers, art, and everything else in between. He always seemed to come bearing gifts. The poem felt more like a visitation from Bill, as though he were telling me what to write in places, showing me how he might phrase things...”
—Cedar Sigo


Cedar Sigo

Cedar Sigo's most recent book is Royals (Wave, 2017). He lives in Lofall, Washington.

Date Published: 2016-10-18

Source URL: