James Tate

(8 December 1943 - / Kansas City, Missouri)

Success Comes To Cow Creek Poem by James Tate


I sit on the tracks,
a hundred feet from
earth, fifty from the
water. Gerald is
inching toward me
as grim, slow, and
determined as a
season, because he
has no trade and wants
none. It's been nine months
since I last listened
to his fate, but I
know what he will say:
he's the fire hydrant
of the underdog.

When he reaches my
point above the creek,
he sits down without
salutation, and
spits profoundly out
past the edge, and peeks
for meaning in the
ripple it brings. He
scowls. He speaks: when you
walk down any street
you see nothing but
coagulations
of shit and vomit,
and I'm sick of it.
I suggest suicide;
he prefers murder,
and spits again for
the sake of all the
great devout losers.

A conductor's horn
concerto breaks the
air, and we, two doomed
pennies on the track,
shove off and somersault
like anesthetized
fleas, ruffling the
ideal locomotive
poised on the water
with our light, dry bodies.
Gerald shouts
terrifically as
he sails downstream like
a young man with a
destination. I
swim toward shore as
fast as my boots will
allow; as always,
neglecting to drown.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Do you like this poem?
1 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Form:


Read poems about / on: suicide, murder, water, sick, success, fate, fire, light, swimming

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Success Comes To Cow Creek by James Tate )

There is no comment submitted by members..

Famous Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. Caged Bird
    Maya Angelou
  8. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
Trending Poets
Trending Poems
  1. Raw With Love, Charles Bukowski
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. If, Rudyard Kipling
  4. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  6. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  7. Warning, Jenny Joseph
  8. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  10. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
[Hata Bildir]