I feel sorry for words Trapped in love poems about wind. How many years have they waited
For their grand entrance Onto the stage of the poem: Dreaming of the day they speak
An absent landscape into being: An absent lover into a bed: An absent poem into god’s mouth: # # # (But the words in this poem Seem little more than words in a poem . . . Words in a poem about words in a poem: Wind in a world of wind.) # # # I want to blow Through wind like a tunnel.
I want to know where It slinks at night to rest.
I want to know what the wind Has against tennis matches,
Where it stops for beer: Where it keeps its spare change. # # # (So this is what a love poem About wind comes to:) # # # Or this:
To blow as the wind blows Through Wordsworth’s Prelude: (O there is blessing in this gentle breeze):
To mean like the word love or heart In a villanelle written for the Almighty God, (Or two sacred ghosts in the act of love):
To be the wind on your lips, The wind in your hair, the wind in the mouth of your mouth:
O to be the final poem bowing On your heart’s windy stage: # # #
The Renovation Sonnet: San Francisco
It was Picasso who said that every act Of creation is first an act of destruction. Maybe, but I bet he never looked behind
The wall of that bathroom in the Haight. Lathe and drywall, plaster, panel and parquet. We live not what we see but what we build.
Bachelard tells us that inhabited space Transcends geometrical space—that’s True even in the Sunset. If the fog Closes in, change your house to sky.
Maybe it will be a small bedroom off The hall, a nursery for the first baby, Or a sun-soaked foyer where the light You didn’t know you missed repairs.
-- Dean Rader has published widely in the fields of poetry, American Indian studies, and popular and visual culture. His debut collection of poems, Works & Days, won the 2010 T. S. Eliot Prize and is a finalist for the Texas Institute of Letters First Book Prize. Poems have appeared in Colorado Review, POOL, Connecticut Review, Quarterly West and many others. In 2009 he won the Sow’s Ear Review poetry prize and his “Twilight at Ocean Beach: 14” was named by Verse Daily as one of the Best Poems of 2010. He also writes a regular column for the City Brights section of the San Francisco Chronicle, the most notable of which is the now famous/infamous “10 Greatest Poets” project. He is a professor of English at the University of San Francisco.