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


Washington, DC, 2005



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.


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!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: