for David Lehman
I woke up this morning feeling
incredibly Gorky. So I made an appointment
to see my Doctorow. He said my Hemingways
looked a little swollen and sent me to
get an M.R. James and a complete Shakespeare.
By that time, I began feeling a slight Trilling
in my Dickinsons and some minor Kipling
in my left Auden. The entire experience
was extremely Dickey.
I was referred to an H.D., who asked
about my cummings. She detected traces
of Plath in my Sextons and suggested
I might also have some Updike
trapped in my Yeatsian system.
She recommended that to keep Orwell
and prevent inflammation to my Balzac,
I elevate my Flaubert once a day.
[from The Drift of Things, The Figures Press, 2001]
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