“An Archive of Confessions, A Genealogy of Confessions”

By Joshua Clover b. 1962 Joshua Clover
Now the summer air exerts its syrupy drag on the half-dark
City under the strict surveillance of quotation marks.
 
The citizens with their cockades and free will drift off
From the magnet of work to the terrible magnet of love.
 
In the far suburbs crenellated of Cartesian yards and gin
The tribe of mothers calls the tribe of children in
 
Across the bluing evening. It’s the hour things get
To be excellently pointless, like describing the alphabet.
 
Yikes. It’s fine to be here with you watching the great events
Without taking part, clinking our ice as they advance
 
Yet remain distant. Like the baker always about to understand
Idly sweeping up that he is the recurrence of Napoleon
 
In a baker’s life, always interrupted by the familiar notes
Of a childish song, “no more sleepy dreaming,” we float
 
Casually on the surface of the day, staring at the bottom,
Jotting in our daybooks, how beautiful, the armies of autumn.

Joshua Clover, “‘An Archive of Confessions, A Genealogy of Confessions’” from The Totality for Kids. Copyright © 2006 by Joshua Clover. Reprinted by permission of University of California Press.

Source: The Totality for Kids (University of California Press, 2006)

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Poet Joshua Clover b. 1962

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Subjects Relationships, Nature, Summer, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, Cities & Urban Life

Poetic Terms Couplet, Free Verse

Biography

Poet, critic, and journalist Joshua Clover was born in 1962 in Berkeley, Calif. An alumnus of Boston University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Clover has published two volumes of poetry, Madonna anno domini (1997) and The Totality for Kids (2006). His poems have also appeared three times in Best American Poetry, and he has written two books of film and cultural criticism: The Matrix (2005) and 1989: Bob Dylan Didn’t Have This . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Nature, Summer, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, Cities & Urban Life

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Poetic Terms Couplet, Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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