Up the dog bounds to the window, baying
like a basset his doleful, tearing sounds
from the belly, as if mourning a dead king,
and now he’s howling like a beagle – yips, brays,
gagging growls – and scratching the sill paintless,
that’s how much he’s missed you, the two of you,
both of you, mother and daughter, my wife
and child. All week he’s curled at my feet,
warming himself and me watching more TV,
or wandered the lonely rooms, my dog shadow,
who like a poodle now hops, amped-up windup
maniac yo-yo with matted curls and snot nose
smearing the panes, having heard another car
like yours taking its grinding turn down
our block, or a school bus, or bird-squawk,
that’s how much he’s missed you, good dog,
companion dog, dog-of-all-types, most excellent dogI told you once and for all we should never get.
it has been writtenReplyDelete
Reviewing Baker’s new and selected collection of poetry, Swift, in the New Yorker, Dan Chiasson recognized the unique “anti-pastoral” vision of Baker in a time of ecological collapse: “Baker’s poems depend on long acquaintance with a small place, where year-over-year comparison makes even the arrival of a feeding monarch or a nagging blue jay a standout event,” Chiasson noted. “His work evinces the moral courage of keeping still in the landscape: in our era of climate change, poetry’s mandate to measure the rhythms of the year has become a valuable form of witness. Baker’s reports from the interior leave in all the encroachments that threaten it.”
In Sheenah Pugh's FAQs, she says, in answer to the question 'Why do you hate Sometimes so much?'ReplyDelete
I think most people read it wrong. When read carefully, it says sometimes things go right, but not that often, and usually only when people make some kind of effort in that direction. So it isn't blithely and unreasonably optimistic. But a lot of people read it that way, which means I didn't write it well enough - the writer can always make the readers see what he wants them to if he does the job right. Also I know, because language is my job, that I have written poems in which the use of language is simply a lot more interesting and imaginative than it is there. So it bugs me now and then that this is the only one a lot of people think I've ever written....
Sometimes things don’t go, after all,
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don’t fail.
Sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.
A people sometimes will step back from war,
elect an honest man, decide they care
enough, that they can’t leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.
Sometimes our best intentions do not go
amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen; may it happen for you.