It doesn't matter how manyWallace Stevens poems you've memorizedor if you had sex in the graveyardlike an upside-down puppetor painted your apartment redso it feels like sleeping inside a heartor the trees were frozen with ravenswhich you sent pictures of to everyone you knowor your pie dough's perfector you once ran a sub-5-minute mileor you're on the last draftof your mystery novel and stilldon't know if the vicar did itor every morning that summeryou saw a fox stepping through the fogbut it got no closeror once you helped drag a deeroff the road by the antlersit blinkedor which song comes from which sideof your mouth as you driveall night all night all nightor how deep and long you carrya hitch in your breath after cryingor shot a man in Tennesseeor were so happy in Franceor left your favorite scarf in a café,the one with the birds and terrible artor the Klimtor you call your mother once a weekeven after she 's deador can't see a swan without panicor have almost figured outwhat happened to you as a child,urge, urge, nothing but urgeor 600 daffodilsor a knife in the glove boxor a butterfly on a bell,you can't park here.
Copyright © 2019 by Dean Young
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Dean Young is the author of seventeen books of poetry and poetic theory. His iconic, comedic style is derived from the New York School of Poetry and from contemporary art movements like Surrealism and Dadaism. His book Elegy on Toy Piano was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2006. Dean Young served as the Texas Poet Laureate and has received multiple fellowships, including the National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship, the Stegner Fellowship, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. He currently holds the position of William Livingston Chair of Poetry at the University of Texas, Austin.
“Young has always stood out for his sharp humor, boundless poetic energy, and sheer readability. If adventurous poetry can sometimes feel like a tenuous tightrope walk, Young's poems feel more like zip lines.”
― The Boston Globe
“This book reads like a long, breathless thank-you for life's seemingly random jumble of beauty, strangeness, tenderness and joy.”
― Los Angeles Times
“Young has mastered his own style and way of thinking in poems. Only a rare poet can make a reader simultaneously cry and laugh this way.”
― Publishers Weekly