James Galvin

James Galvin Poems

A pinup of Rita Hayworth was taped
To the bomb that fell on Hiroshima.
The Avant-garde makes me weep with boredom.
Hares are wishes, especially dark ones.

Somewhere between a bird's nest and a solar system - whom did
the story use to fashion the crown of thorns, and did it prick
Whom did the story use for judgement?

fences the first sheepmen cast across the land, processions
of cringing pitch or cedar posts pulling into the vanishing
point like fretboards carrying barbed melodies, windharp

I knew the end would be gone before I got there.
After all, all rainbows lie for a living.
And as you have insisted, repeatedly,
The difference between death and the Eternal

We don't belong to each other.
We belong together.
Some poems
belong together to prove the intentionality of subatomic particles.

All those poems I wrote
About living in the sky
Were wrong. I live on a leaf

Remember the night you got drunk
and shot the roses?
You were a perfect stranger, Father,
even my bad sister cried.


A score of years ago I felled a hundred pines to build a house.

Two stories, seven rooms in all.

Well aren't you the harsh necessity,
As in what fear is for?
It was the summer of
You should have been there,

Salt is pity, brooms are fury,
The waterclock stands for primordial harmony.

The spruce forest, which is said to be

All the angels of Tie Siding were on fire.
The famous sky was gone.

Presumably the mountains were still there, invisible in haze.

Very sad,
Having to
Come out of nowhere,

The more I see of people, the more I like my dog.
And this would be good country if a man could eat scenery.

The lake's ice gives light back to the air,

Some little splinter
Of shadow purls
And weals down
The slewed stone
Chapel steps,

My grandfather was always sad. Sadly, as a boy, he paddled his canoe along the beautiful Hudson River, which was only then beginning to die. During the first war he was very sad in France because he knew he was having the time of his life. When it was over everyone in American felt like a hero — imagine.

A canoe made of horse ribs tipped over in the pasture.
Prairie flowers took it for a meetinghouse.
They grow there with a vengeance.

We remember so little,
We are certain of nothing.
We long to perish into the absolute.
Where is a mountain
To spread its snowfields for us like a shawl?

On starless, windless nights like this
I imagine
I can hear the wedding dresses
Weeping in their closets,
Luminescent with hopeless longing,

No one can draw fast enough
To capture the cut
Iris before its form falls
From its former self.

To keep from ending
The story does everything it can,
Careful not to overvalue
Perfection or undervalue

James Galvin Biography

James Galvin was born in Chicago and earned a BA from Antioch College and an MFA from the University of Iowa. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Resurrection Update: Collected Poems (1998), X (2003), As Is (2009), and Everything We Always Knew Was True (2016). He has also published the novel Fencing the Sky (1999), and The Meadow (1992), a prose meditation on the landscape of the Wyoming-Colorado border and the people who live there. Galvin’s work is infused with the genuine realities of the western landscape, while at the same time not shirking difficult questions of faith, the vicissitudes of life, and shifting intimacies. Poet and critic Mark Tredinnick commented, “All Galvin’s writing arises from and expresses a musical engagement with the world.” Tredinnick also found Galvin’s work to be “profoundly ecological,” stating that “[h]is writing, particularly The Meadow, but all of his prose and poetry, starts from the principle . . . that we are the land’s, not the other way around.” Galvin has won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation for his poetry. For many years he has been on the permanent faculty at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, spending part of the year in Iowa City, Iowa, and the remainder in Tie Siding, Wyoming, where he grew up and still ranches.)

The Best Poem Of James Galvin


A pinup of Rita Hayworth was taped
To the bomb that fell on Hiroshima.
The Avant-garde makes me weep with boredom.
Hares are wishes, especially dark ones.

That's why twitches and fences.
That's why switches and spurs.
That's why the idiom of betrayal.
They forgive us.

Their windswayed manes and tails,
Their eyes,
Affront the winterscrubbed prairie
With gentleness.

They live in both worlds and forgive us.
I'll give you a hint: the wind in fits and starts.
Like schoolchildren when the teacher walks in,
The aspens jostle for their places

And fall still.
A delirium of ridges breaks in a blue streak:
A confusion of means
Saved from annihilation

By catastrophe.
A horse gallops up to the gate and stops.
The rider dismounts.
Do I know him?

James Galvin Comments

Vicentwilliam 01 February 2018

Hei James this Span is true to win iPhone x

0 0 Reply

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