Larry Levis

Larry Levis

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Larry Patrick Levis (September 30, 1946 – May 8, 1996) was an American poet.
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The Future Of Hands

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All
The trees held up their silent
As if they mattered
But on one main street of bars and lights,
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The Oldest Living Thing In LA

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At Wilshire & Santa Monica I saw an opossum Trying to cross the street
It was late, the street Was brightly lit, the opossum would take A few steps forward, then back away from the breath Of moving traffic
People coming out of the ba...
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Elegy With A Bridle In Its Hand

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One was a bay cowhorse from Piedra & the other was a washed out
And both stood at the rail of the corral & both went on
In each effortless tail swish, the flies rising, then congregating
Around their eyes & muzzles &...
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Labyrinth As The Erasure Of Cries Heard Once Within It Or Mr Bones I Succeeded… ‘Later

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—for John Berryrnan—Is dog eat dog out dere'—Big Business,
Mr
Bones
You know what I'm doing now
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The Poet At Seventeen

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My youth
I hear it mostly in the long, volleying Echoes of billiards in the pool hall where I spent it all, extravagantly, believing My delicate touch on a cue would last for years
Outside the vineyards vanished under rain,
And the ...
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The Assimilation Of The Gypsies

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In the background, a few shacks & overturned carts And a gray sky holding the singular pallor of Lent
And here the crowd of onlookers, though a few of them Must be intimate with the victim,
Have been advised to keep their distance
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The Poem You Asked For

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My poem would eat nothing
I tried giving it water but it said no,  worrying me
Day after day,
I held it up to the llight,  turning it over, but it only pressed its lips more tightly together
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In 1969

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Some called it the Summer of Love, & although the clustered,
Motionless leaves that overhung the streets looked the
As ever, the same as they did every summer, in 1967,
Anybody with three dollars could have a vision
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Readings In French

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1
Looking into the eyes of Gerard de
You notice the giant sea crabs rising
Which is what
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Elegy For Poe With The Music Of A Carnival Inside It

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There is this sunny place where I imagine him
A park on a hill whose grass wants to
Into dust, & would do so if it
For the rain, & the fact that it is only
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Elegy With A Chimneysweep Falling Inside It

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Those twenty-six letters filling the blackboard Compose the dark, compose The illiterate summer sky & its stars as they appear One by one, above the schoolyard
If the soul had a written history, nothing would have happened:
A bird wo...
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Fish

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The cop holds me up like a fish;he feels the huge bonessurrounding my eyes,and he runs a thumb under them,lifting my eyelidsas if they wereenvelopes filled with the night
Now he turnsmy head back and forth, gently,until I'm so tame and stillI...
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The Map

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Applying to Heavy Equipment School I marched farther into the Great Plains And refused to come out
I threw up a few scaffolds of disinterest
Around me in the fields, the hogs grunted And lay on their sides
You came with a little wat...
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Elegy For Whatever Had A Pattern In It

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Now that the Summer of Love has become the moss of
And the shadowy mouths of tunnels & all the tunnels lead into the city,
I'm going to put the one largely forgotten, swaying figure of Ediesto
Right in front of you so you can wa...
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The Widening Spell Of Leaves

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—The Carpathian Frontier,
October, 1968          —for my
Once, in a foreign country,
I was suddenly ill
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Prose Poem

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Toad, hog, assassin, mirror
Some of its favorite words, which are breath
Or handwriting: the long tail of the ‘y’ disappearing into a barn like a rodent’s, and suddenly it is winter after all
After all what
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