By Gerald Stern
The part that we avoided was not the heart
but what we called the pouch, for it still swelled
or seemed to and there was plenty of horror cutting
into what made the music or at least
the agency you might call it, and more than one of us
retched and as you know, that can become
contagious–think of a roomful of pouches exploding
think of the music on a summer night
with no one conducting and think of how warm it might be
and how love songs may have gotten started there.
Gerald Stern is the author of several collections of poetry and is the winner of numerous awards, including the National Book Award for “This Time: New and Selected Poems” (1998). He was recently given the 2012 Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, awarded for the most distinguished book of poetry published in the preceding two years. Later this week, we’ll post an interview of Stern by Jeffrey Brown.