Stephen Dobyns Poems

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1.
Loud Music

My stepdaughter and I circle round and round.
You see, I like the music loud, the speakers
throbbing, jam-packing the room with sound whether
Bach or rock and roll, the volume cranked up so
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2.
Pursuit

Each thing I do I rush through so I can do
something else. In such a way do the days pass—
a blend of stock car racing and the never
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3.
Over a Cup of Coffee

Over a cup of coffee or sitting on a park bench or
walking the dog, he would recall some incident
from his youth—nothing significant—climbing a tree
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4.
How To Like It

These are the first days of fall. The wind
at evening smells of roads still to be traveled,
while the sound of leaves blowing across the lawns
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5.
Oh, Immobility, Death

Each dance step we execute is a slap in the face
of immobility. Are you light on your feet? Do you wear
tap shoes and feel an elasticity of sole and thus
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6.
No Map

How close the clouds press this October first
and the rain—a gray scarf across the sky.
In separate hospitals my father and a dear friend
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7.
Grief

Trying to remember you
is like carrying water
in my hands a long distance
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8.
Cemetery Nights

Sweet dreams, sweet memories, sweet taste of earth:
here's how the dead pretend they're still alive-
one drags up a chair, a lamp, unwraps
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9.
Tomatoes

A woman travels to Brazil for plastic
surgery and a face lift. She is sixty
and has the usual desire to stay pretty.
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10.
The Delicate, Plummeting Bodies

A great cry went up from the stockyards and
slaughterhouses, and Death, tired of complaint
and constant abuse, withdrew to his underground garage.
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