Thursday was Poem in Your Pocket Day, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that my brilliant son had found out about it in school. On Wednesday, he came back from the playground with an index card on which he had written a poem of his own composition:
My Magic Bookcase
by Bobby Bowen
I have a magic bookcase
it flew me into space
then I joined the space-race...
and got to this strange place
For my part, I forgot about the whole thing (having been meaning to prepare well in advance) until fairly late in the day. The poem I chose is from John Berryman's Sonnets to Chris, that weird, heart-racing, compelling sequence written in 1947 and first published in 1966:
Keep your eyes open when you kiss: do: when
You kiss. All silly time else, close them to;
Unsleeping, I implore you (dear) pursue
In darkness me, as I do you again
Instantly we part . . only me both then
And when your fingers fall, let there be two
Only, ‘in that dream-kingdom’: I would have you
Me alone recognize your citizen.
Before who wanted eyes, making love, so?
I do now. However we are driven and hide,
What state we keep all other states condemn,
We see ourselves, we watch the solemn glow
Of empty courts we kiss in . . Open wide!
You do, you do, and I look into them.