Twenty-four Logics in Memory of Lee Hickman

By Michael Palmer b. 1943 Michael Palmer
The bend in the river followed us for days
and above us the sun
doubled and redoubled its claims
Now we are in a house
with forty-four walls
and nothing but doors
Outside the trees, chokecherries, mulberries and oaks
are cracking like limbs
We can do nothing but listen
or so someone claims,
the Ice Man perhaps, all enclosed in ice
though the light has been shortening our days
and coloring nights the yellow of hay,
scarlet of trillium, blue of block ice
Words appear, the texture of ice,
with messages etched on their shells:
Minna 1892, Big Max and Little Sarah,
This hour ago
everyone watched as the statues fell
Enough of such phrases and we’ll have a book
Enough of such books
and we’ll have mountains of ice
enough to balance our days with nights
enough at last to close our eyes

Michael Palmer, "Twenty-four Logics in Memory of Lee Hickman" from At Passages. Copyright © 1995 by Michael Palmer.  Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.

Source: At Passages (New Directions, 1995)


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Poet Michael Palmer b. 1943


SCHOOL / PERIOD Language Poetry

Subjects Living, The Mind, Time & Brevity, Activities, Travels & Journeys, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets, Reading & Books