Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bill's Poem

Dear Anthony,
Oboe hid himself in the boot of my car and when we got home I heard a banging and opened it up. He jumped out and put his hat back on his head and then without speaking strode off in the direction of Brooklyn.  He must have been listening to us talking about what Bill's poetry would be like,  because he broke into Bill's place and found some poems Bill had written about 20 years ago hidden away in a box with some old 1970s French hooks.
Here's one of the Bill’s poems. He is a true talent, just as you thought!
I gamble with compass-points and change.
A pelican feather blows in from the sliprail
and clings to a poster of Deliverance.
I am breaking bread with all the men I have been.
Some of them curse the names I have given them.
Dusk here is like a sideshow alley gallery:
the heads of the old outboards turn
on their rusted braces; the bags of spun light
in the kitchen fall down when I look at them.
Here is where the hurt is, and it's home.
Dear Bob
I emailed Bill's Poem to Sam Hunt who emailed it to his sister who works at a law office in Boston with Mark Strand’s daughter, who is friends with Muldoon. She emailed it straight to him at the NewYorker. His reply came back within 10 minutes.
Dear Bill Wisley
it is a rare thing for me to respond to anyone, but your poem stood out like a cross in fog at Skibereen. I’d like more. Send them immediately. In fact, if the others are as good, I’m sure Faber would publish your first book. Your work reminds me of a young John Montague, when he lived in Cork, and was drinking. Have you a title? I’m thinking Flagged or Flageolet.  Now we’ve both got work to do.
                                                         ~ Paul Muldoon ~

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