Christmas Eve

By Bill Berkson b. 1939 Bill Berkson

for Vincent Warren

Behind the black water tower
under the grey
of the sky that feeds it
smoke speeds to where a pigeon
spreads its wings
 
This is no great feat
Cold pushes out its lust
We walk we drink we cast
our giggling insults
 
                           Would you please
leave the $2.50 you owe me
I would rather not talk about it
just now           Money bores me I would like
to visit someone who will stay
in bed all day           A forest is rising
imperceptibly in my head
                                                  not a civilized park
 
I think it would be nice this “new
moral odor” no it would not mean
“everything marching to its tomb”
                                                            The water tower
watches over us            Is there someone
you would like to invite        no one.
 


Bill Berkson, "Christmas Eve" from Portrait and Dream: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 2009 by Bill Berkson.  Reprinted by permission of Coffee House Press.

Source: Portrait and Dream: New and Selected Poems (Coffee House Press, 2009)

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Poet Bill Berkson b. 1939

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

SCHOOL / PERIOD New York School (2nd Generation)

Subjects Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Nature, Winter, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture

Holidays Christmas

 Bill  Berkson

Biography

Born in New York in 1939, Bill Berkson is a poet, critic, teacher and sometime curator, who has been active in the art and literary worlds since his early twenties. He is professor emeritus at the San Francisco Art Institute, where, between 1984 and 2008, he taught art history, art writing and poetry; Berkson also served as interim dean in 1992 and directed the Letters and Science and public lectures programs. He studied at . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Nature, Winter, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

SCHOOL / PERIOD New York School (2nd Generation)

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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