American Culture · American Literature · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Passage · Poetry

John Koethe

A sudden [b]reeze sweeps through the vacant lots, scattering leaves
And cellophane, the miscellaneous detritus of a life.
Like scraps of paper carried by the breeze from home
To here, and then a figure walking towards me
Across an open field, coming from the vast distance
Things tend towards, they come at last to me: the quick,
Unmediated thoughts, secure in their final home,
That have their say and stand apart and make no sense.
I’ve spent my life like this. […] Why can’t I say what I mean?

— John Koethe, from “The Long Dissolve,” The Swimmer: Poems (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2016)


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