By Landis Everson 1926–2007 Landis Everson
How did the valentines age so fast?
Most of the names are forgotten.
Billy, Billy, Billy, Jill
I think strangers sent them out like advertising
hoping I'd surrender. But

Jill, Jill, Jill and Billy Bill,
shared memories aren't easily kept.
Secrets wash out of the ocean blank all over.
I am sitting on a beach chair
somewhere in the middle of the century, pretending

I remember a garden of broken banjos and
old movies. Valentines from Valentino,
Notes from Norma. Worms and spiders
thrown at waves.
Box of my names, shut up.

Landis Everson, “Recycling” from Poetry (October 2006). Copyright © 2006 by Poetry Foundation. Reprinted with permission from Poetry Foundation.

Source: Poetry (October 2006).


This poem originally appeared in the October 2006 issue of Poetry magazine

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October 2006


Poet Landis Everson was born in Coronado, California. He studied at the University of California-Berkeley, where he was poetry editor of Occident and a member of the Berkeley Renaissance, a group of writers that included poets Jack Spicer, Robert Duncan, and Robin Blaser. After studying for an MA at Columbia University, he returned to the San Francisco area and became involved in a weekly workshop with his fellow Berkeley poets. . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Growing Old, Relationships, Men & Women


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