A Wicker Basket

By Robert Creeley 1926–2005 Robert Creeley
Comes the time when it’s later
and onto your table the headwaiter   
puts the bill, and very soon after
rings out the sound of lively laughter—

Picking up change, hands like a walrus,   
and a face like a barndoor’s,
and a head without any apparent size,   
nothing but two eyes—

So that’s you, man,
or me. I make it as I can,   
I pick up, I go
faster than they know—

Out the door, the street like a night,   
any night, and no one in sight,   
but then, well, there she is,
old friend Liz—

And she opens the door of her cadillac,   
I step in back,
and we’re gone.
She turns me on—

There are very huge stars, man, in the sky,
and from somewhere very far off someone hands me a slice of apple pie,
with a gob of white, white ice cream on top of it,   
and I eat it—

Slowly. And while certainly
they are laughing at me, and all around me is racket   
of these cats not making it, I make it

in my wicker basket.

Robert Creeley, “A Wicker Basket” from Selected Poems of Robert Creeley. Copyright © 1991 by the Regents of the University of California. Reprinted with the permission of the University of California Press, www.ucpress.edu.

Source: Selected Poems (1991)

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Poet Robert Creeley 1926–2005

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

SCHOOL / PERIOD Black Mountain

Subjects Love, Eating & Drinking, Relationships, Activities, Realistic & Complicated

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Robert  Creeley


Once known primarily for his association with the group called the “Black Mountain Poets,” at the time of his death in 2005, Robert Creeley was widely recognized as one of the most important and influential American poets of the twentieth century. His poetry is noted for both its concision and emotional power. Albert Mobilio, writing in the Voice Literary Supplement, observed: “Creeley has shaped his own audience. The much . . .

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SUBJECT Love, Eating & Drinking, Relationships, Activities, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

SCHOOL / PERIOD Black Mountain

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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