Valentine, Valentine

By Landis Everson 1926–2007 Landis Everson
Valentine, valentine you arrive
in a town car with a chauffered envelope,
scattered pieces of you enrolled in schoolyards
like a recess of paper vanity, litter, old
with red-rimmed "loves," red-rhymed lies in lace.

The verses come, rising as easily as long-stemmed snakes in
bloom where swamps settle down and drowse
by dawn, a night of secrets slid out of drawers like knives nesting, a choice of chimes and slums overrun
by bejeweled heartbreakers. What a lovely
winter, almost skipping February.

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

Source: Poetry (October 2006).

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

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October 2006

Biography

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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SUBJECT Relationships

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

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