Poem #6: Leaving Creeley

Leaving Creeley

I put initials in
all my books to show
the future who
was right.

The barstools we bought
stayed in pieces on the
floor. (I used the screws
for other things.)

You spent my
birthday in a library
without books, and
with another woman.

When your phone rang
you wouldn’t answer
it – wrong number,
you’d always say.

I took long walks
at night, while you
fell asleep with the
television on.

I wish instead of
your rice cooker, you
had brought with you
more desire.

The noise we
made together
alarmed you,
I could tell.

Our meals began
to taste the same,
every one the same,
the same as before.

I knew you’d never
leave me, which
is why I had to
leave you first.

@NBF 4.17.2009

creeleysbottleofwine

Washington, DC, 2005

——————–

Notes

In college, I lent someone I knew my copy of Creeley’s Selected Poems and I never got the book back. That’s the difference between “someone you know” and a “friend” I guess. I went seven years without having Creeley in my library. Yesterday, I picked up both volumes of The Collected Poems, and I read Thirty Things before going to bed last night. I woke up several times during the night, each time with the same stanza forcing its way through my head: “I put initials in/all my books to show/the future who/was right.” I took that as a cue to write this poem about a woman leaving Robert Creeley.

I was introduced to Creeley in 2000 by poet and journalist Jim Higdon.

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3 Responses to “Poem #6: Leaving Creeley”

  1. I love Creeley. “Histoire de Florida” is still one of my favorite long poems.

    “Affections flood me,
    love lights light in like eyes”

  2. It’s the Jocelyn cup!

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