A Second Train Song for Gary

By Jack Spicer 1925–1965 Jack Spicer
When the trains come into strange cities
The citizens come out to meet the strangers.
                                        I love you, Jack, he said
                                        I love you, Jack, he said
                                        At another station.
When passengers come in from strange cities
The citizens come out to help the strangers.
                                        I love you too, I said
                                        I love you too, I said
                                        From another station.
The citizens are kind to passing strangers
And nourish them and kiss their lips in kindness.
                                        I walk the unbelieving streets
                                        I walk the unbelieving streets
                                        In a strange city.
At night in cold new beds the welcomed strangers
Achieve in memory the city's promise.
                                        I wake in love with you
                                        I wake in love with you
                                        At last year's station.
Then say goodbye to citizens and city
Admit this much—that they were kind to strangers.
                                        I leave my love with you
                                        I leave my love with you
                                        In this strange city.

Source: Poetry (July/August 2008).

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This poem originally appeared in the July/August 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

July/August 2008
 Jack  Spicer

Biography

Although known primarily among a coterie of poets in the San Francisco Bay Area at the time of his death in 1965, Jack Spicer has slowly become a towering figure in American poetry. He was born in Los Angeles in 1925 to midwestern parents and raised in a Calvinist home. While attending college at the University of California-Berkeley, Spicer met fellow poets Robin Blaser and Robert Duncan. The friendship among these three poets . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Friends & Enemies, Cities & Urban Life, Social Commentaries, Activities, Travels & Journeys, Relationships

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

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