November 10, 2004

here they let fame be


Four poems by Franz Wright, from The Beforelife (2000)

Translation

Death is nature's way
of telling you to be quiet.

Of saying it's time
to be weaned, your conflagration starved
to diamond.

I'll give you something to cry about.

And what those treetops swaying
dimly in the wind spelled.

Homage

There are a few things I will miss,
a girl with no shirt on
lighting a cigarette

and brushing her hair in the mirror;
the sound of a mailbox
opening, somewhere,

and closing at two in the morning
of the first snow,
and the words for them.

Nothingsville, MN

The sole tavern there, empty
and filled
with cigarette smoke;
the smell
of beer, urine, and the infinate
sadness you dread
and need so much of
for some reason

After Apollinaire

It's four o'clock in the afternoon,
and it is finished;
I sit back and light my cigarette
on a ray of dusk.
I don't want to write anymore.
All I want to do is smoke.

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