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Sport 18: Autumn 1997

Poem Ending 'A Gray In — Which Some Smoke Stands'

page 173

Poem Ending 'A Gray In
Which Some Smoke Stands'

It is getting
at night.

I read—
beside a
person who is sick—

the poems of
Jimmy Schuyler,
sick in hospital.

Jimmyis in hospital
—we are at home,
the light

placed low
beside the
bed. A

warm glow
emanates from it
onto the red eiderdown,

that is flecked with white—
patterned with it, actually—
quite regularly,

but in a way that seems
and irregular

—at least
page 174 when the eiderdown
is the least disordered.

It is in the bottom right
of my field of vision—
and close, because it's

‘over’ me.

Red underpants
on top of a pile that is
black jeans

—in another corner—


Cath shifts
beside me

I read another poem, just
yesterday, about how good
Schuyler's are.

(The Payne Whitneypoems
are stoical

—the best thing
about them—
don't misrepresent his feelings, don't

make more of them—
and so seem
very actual.)

page 175

The poem I read yesterday
was by David Shapiro.
Ashbery, I remember, was for a time called

‘the master of the golden glow’

—some sort of joke.
I read it, I think, in a poem
of Schuyler's.

The glow here
is sort of ‘golden’—

I write this poem,
how good Schuyler is

—not the first such
I have written—

with the thought, Maybe it will
get it ‘out of my system’.

that I expect it to.
(The thought, though, does occur to me.)
I write the poem.

it could be like Schuyler's—
‘The sky slowly/swiftly went blue to gray.

A gray in which some smoke stands’

is how it ends.