POETRY

‘I Blinked My Eyes, Looked Up and Everyone was 25 Years Older’

Joanne Kyger was the author of over 30 books of poetry and prose.
Joanne Kyger was the author of over 30 books of poetry and prose.
Joanne Kyger (1934-2017) was associated with the poets of the San Francisco Renaissance, the Beat Generation, Black Mountain, and the New York School.

When you’re alive you get to
recognize hematite,
azurite, smoked quartz
lovely, eh?
in sticky black silk

And watch simplicity
become complex in management
“Only bow when bowed to”

Go look at the sunset
Inspiration for a bunch of numbers
heralding the close of the Xian calendar
and new age metaphysical smoothies

Suddenly, I looked up, and everyone had white hair
People go in and out of your life, and your life
is a room filled with flowers and a kitchen cooking supper
and you have wrested the inscrutable from the obvious

or the other way around

We are called the exquisite bloom of February
We are called wild and grow freely

Very very annoying are people who arrive
an hour and a half late for lunch

This poem appears in the book “As Ever: Selected Poems” by Joanne Kyger.