Beautiful Habit

By Tom Raworth b. 1938 Tom Raworth

(for Ed and Jenny) 

greetings
as the door opened
ticking
 
please listen to this
food alone for all
the f.b.i. will continue
 
maybe you dozed off
i hung by that phone all night
suppose he talks
 
*
 
vida
 
later
 
aria
 
*
 
once upon a time
not looking for any thing
 
*
 
you’re on
your own
it’s off
it’s on
 
*
 
perhaps it means
ragged like that
golda my-yeer
         pre-meer
 
*
 
and pour the old box
down a drain
 
*
 
too  much news
said the news
 
*
 
r e  o l e
 
*
 
it’s us
or rust
listener
 
*
 
deep
 
personal
 
regret
 
looking
 
up
 
monday
 
*
 
we can save
your head or your body
we can shave
 
*
 
even
his admission
is
a subtle lie
 
*
 
in suspense
what is cut into
the smallest of the
 
*
 
grinding
 
to fill
 
a prescription
 
*
 
drum to the wobble and a roll on the sea
come to mind an article of light
distance through distance unfinished
 
*
 
piano
 
*
 
willing to believe
 
*
 
national
 
anthem
 
hearer
 
*
 
perfect rhyme to some
 
all cars
 
kept in doors
 
*
 
sophisticated
newsmen
show how
it could have been
 
*
retreat
from the swiss
legation
 
*
 
numbers
for an event
 
*
 
corruption
why not?
 
*
 
infinite
 
detail
 
is no more real
 
*
 
thought
 
             against
 
                          power
 
*
 
answer
 
 
it
 
*
 
hooked
to just another
piece of tape
hooked
to just one more
little piece of tape
 
*
 
through words in to
no
record
 
 
*
 
writer
 
righter
 
riter
 
*
 
am:
 
i
 
on replay?
 
*
 
all you
do is
expand
the system
 
*
 
a polaroid
of la
with the wrong
voice print
 
*
 
astronaut
amazed
at what
was expected

Tom Raworth, "Beautiful Habit" from Collected Poems. Copyright © 2003 by Tom Raworth.  Reprinted by permission of Carcanet Press, Ltd.

Source: Collected Poems (Carcanet Press Ltd, 2003)

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Poet Tom Raworth b. 1938

POET’S REGION England

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, Popular Culture

Biography

Writer, artist, teacher, and publisher Tom Raworth was born in South London. He attended the University of Essex; in 1970, he earned an MA in the theory and practice of literary translation. As founder of Matrix Press and cofounder of Goliard Press, Raworth was instrumental in bringing an entire tradition of American poetry to English readers. Promoting the work of a number of poets associated with the Black Mountain School, . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, Popular Culture

POET’S REGION England

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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