Orchid & Eurydice

By Joshua Clover b. 1962 Joshua Clover
In one version you must convince every living thing one by one
to weep until he climbs back into the marriage-house,
that earth about which it is said that bread is the glue of the earth.
Certainly glue is money, the phrase “the tears of things” is money,
the revelation of the Woman Clothed in the Sun is money.
The lake is a disc of bright money buying a few plain birds down,
they climb back nervously as you hurry through, plain birds like a
                                                                                                   plain song,
that moment when four or five are around your knees
like Zeno’s arrow, rising by halves, like Eurydice’s bread,
& still the possibility they might intersect,
you would be the one who was struck by a flying bird,
somewhere between a blesséd fool & village idiot,
the only one to persist outside the local economy,
drooling at travelers, holding yourself, slinging incomprehensible
you would learn the trick with museum wire
where you snap the heads off quiet animals in front of the store,
tempted equally by science & dirty work. . . .
I am trying to invent a way for you to buy me back—

Joshua Clover, “Orchid & Eurydice” from Madonna Anno Domini. Copyright © 1997 by Joshua Clover. Reprinted by permission of Louisiana State University Press.

Source: Madonna Anno Domini (Louisiana State University Press, 1997)

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Poet Joshua Clover b. 1962


Subjects Social Commentaries, Money & Economics, Mythology & Folklore, Greek & Roman Mythology

Poetic Terms Free Verse


Poet, scholar, and journalist Joshua Clover was born in 1962 in Berkeley, California. An alumnus of Boston University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Clover has published three volumes of poetry: Red Epic (2015), The Totality for Kids (2006), and Madonna anno domini (1997). His poems have also appeared three times in the Best American Poetry series. He has written three books of cultural and political . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Social Commentaries, Money & Economics, Mythology & Folklore, Greek & Roman Mythology


Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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