At A Recent Poetry Reading, Where I Attempt The Vulcan Mind Meld With The Dead Poet, Czeslaw Milosz

Vying for my attention

another poet cries,

“Try not to look at me.”

as she models her black bribe.

To which I reply,

“You are a garden I dare not enter

a rusted gate

glumly rigged.”

I must awaken my taste.

My mood is blind.

They come in the night

with empty buckets

to take the land

assault my knowing

with malodorous cues.

Idle reality

impales hope

to a tree


not even



can gloat.

Have faith, child

The World is naive.

Feed it a few gluten-free animal crackers.

 Poem Hunter: Czeslaw Milosz: Polish poet, prose writer and translator of Lithuanian origin and subsequent American citizenship. His World War II-era sequence The World is a collection of 20 “naive” poems. He defected to the West in 1951, and his nonfiction book “The Captive Mind” (1953) is a classic of anti-Stalinism. From 1961 to 1998 he was a professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1980, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. 

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