If I Have The Words & Late Plays of Yeats

Richard W. Halperin

If I Have the Words

A woman with a small fox on the lead
Walks into La Boulangerie des Invalides
The terrace of which I am having coffee on.
Consider the fox the preposition at the end
Of the sentence. Consider the lead the sentence.
Consider me the woman. If I have the words,
I can do these things.

There Are the Late Plays of Yeats

There are the late plays of Yeats, of course,
For which the world will never be ready.
There are the late plays of Eliot with their
Ping of the heart, for which I hope the world
May one day be ready. An arts magazine
Has launched a call for new work inspired
By a fourteenth century B.C. painter’s
Palette inscribed ‘Amenhotep III.’
I can hear my Dad saying, ‘Whaddya think
Of that?’ I think, let them paint an inch thick,
Let artists, let financiers, let dancers paint
An inch thick, nothing can change the shock
Of the sheer nothingness beneath. The first
Thing the resurrected Jesus asked for was a
Grilled fish and a honeycomb. A good start.

Richard W. Halperin

Richard W. Halperin's work is published by Salmon Poetry/Cliffs of Moher (four collections since 2010) and Lapwing Publications/Belfast (16 shorter collections since 2014). In 2024 Salmon will bring out a Selected and New Poems volume drawing upon all twenty collections.

Issue 34
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