And Still It Comes

By Thomas Lux b. 1946 Thomas Lux
like a downhill brakes-burned freight train
full of pig iron ingots, full of lead   
life-size statues of Richard Nixon,
like an avalanche of smoke and black fog   
lashed by bent pins, the broken-off tips
of switchblade knives, the dust of dried offal,
remorseless, it comes, faster when you turn your back,   
faster when you turn to face it,   
like a fine rain, then colder showers,   
then downpour to razor sleet, then egg-size hail,
fist-size, then jagged
laser, shrapnel hail
thudding and tearing like footsteps   
of drunk gods or fathers; it comes   
polite, loutish, assured, suave,   
breathing through its mouth   
(which is a hole eaten by a cave),   
it comes like an elephant annoyed,   
like a black mamba terrified, it slides   
down the valley, grease on grease,   
like fire eating birds’ nests,
like fire melting the fuzz
off a baby’s skull, still it comes: mute   
and gorging, never
to cease, insatiable, gorging
and mute.

Thomas Lux, “And Still It Comes” from New and Selected Poems: 1975-1995. Copyright © 1997 by Thomas Lux. Used by the permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Source: New and Selected Poems 1975-1995 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1997)

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Poet Thomas Lux b. 1946

Subjects Time & Brevity, Living, Death

 Thomas  Lux


Acclaimed poet and teacher Thomas Lux began publishing haunted, ironic poems that owed much to the Neo-surrealist movement in the 1970s. Critically lauded from his first book Memory’s Handgrenade (1972), Lux’s poetry has gradually evolved towards a more direct treatment of immediately available, though no less strange, human experience. Often using ironic or sardonic speakers, startlingly apt imagery, careful rhythms, and . . .

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SUBJECT Time & Brevity, Living, Death

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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