Foreign Parts

By James Schuyler 1923–1991 James Schuyler
Meat-eater, salt-licker, piped spring
dribble-sucker, an exiled Bolshevik’s

villa at Viareggio. The beach sheep
shit crumby money, munificent marks,

lire, dollars, Dolorous Daintyfoot,
Proudass, Chinadoll, a three-way clut-

ter, the piazza pizzeria. Mrs. Smith-
Jones, rich, gonged aground a pissoir.

At three the imprisoned poisoner’s tea
tells her rice-cake fortune, it is it.

Who to who? You yew alley ewes knew
goatsuckers in Swedish horse-hide hid

the boathouse key, locked the oarlock,
sung Sam’s nutsy song, Sin Fleet, at

night. Night, ketchup cup, pepper-pot,
bid bound Belinda break her bracelets:

the dirty photographs apostrophize mon-
soons. Swimming snakes shake the lake.

James Schuyler, "Foreign Parts" from Other Flowers: Uncollected Poems, edited by James Meetze and Simon Pettet, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. Copyright © 2010 by the Estate of James Schuyler. All rights reserved.

Source: Poetry (November 2009).


This poem originally appeared in the November 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

November 2009


Pulitzer Prize winning poet James Schuyler was a central member of the New York School.  He was born in Chicago, Illinois and spent his teen years in East Aurora, New York, before attending Bethany College in West Virginia. During World War II, Schuyler served on a destroyer in the North Atlantic and remained in the US Navy until 1947. Before moving to New York in 1950, Schuyler lived for two years on the Isle of Ischia in Italy . . .

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SCHOOL / PERIOD New York School

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