Thuringian Equals

By Bill Berkson b. 1939 Bill Berkson
Crossed fingers gird the planet, though small optimism obtains.
 
Will I read The Serious Doll in wraps, with its roller slur?
 
A book where everybody, reader and writer included, dies.
 
The kind of thing people said in the 1970s: “Hello, I’m back being me again.”
 
My first and last names and the first and last names of both my parents have the same number of letters.
 
The wasp waist, the tennis dress, the shirtwaist, the dirndl (Mainbocher).
 
A distant yet achingly distinct whinny: et voila! the walking buckboard.
 
Dustin Hoffman’s bookcase hanging by one hinge in air of Eleventh Street, dawn 1969.
 
Telephone solicitation for a ballet school in need of “serious floors.”
 
The thought of someone flat on his back on the carpet, tossing and giggling.
 
If it hurts don’t do it. (There are several unlesses to this caution.)
 
For the second time in two millennia slept through the meteor shower, results of last night’s talk.
 

Bill Berkson, "Thuringian Equals" 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 Living, Time & Brevity, Activities, Relationships, Home Life

 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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SUBJECT Living, Time & Brevity, Activities, Relationships, Home Life

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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