Accounts Payable

By Bill Berkson b. 1939 Bill Berkson

...  cantered light-heartedly downstream to their doom.
                         — Patrick Leigh Fermor

Somebody down there hates us deeply,
Has planted a thorn where slightest woe may overrun.

Disorderly and youthful sorrow, many divots picked at since
Across the thrice-hounded comfort zone.

Can’t cut it, sees permanent crones
Encroaching aside likely lanes of executive tar

All spread skyward.
You got the picture, Bub:

This world is ours no more,
And those other euphemisms for grimly twisting wrath,

A wire-mesh semblance bedecked
With twilight’s steamy regard.

Look at the wind out here.
Delete imperative.

Hours where money rinses life like sex,
Whichever nowadays serves as its signifier.

Source: Poetry (June 2014).


This poem originally appeared in the June 2014 issue of Poetry magazine

June 2014
 Bill  Berkson


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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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Life Choices, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture


SCHOOL / PERIOD New York School (2nd Generation)

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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