A Poet Reflects

If ever I was about to speak I forget.  I can see that the single flower goes aloft on the water of the pool because it is something that everything has addressed to my darling, while I stand here like some ashes that used to be a clown, looking out quietly from my face to watch the failure of these words to be those things.
—Denis Johnson, last stanza from “For Jane” in The Incognito Lounge: And Other Poems (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1994)

If ever
I was about to speak I
forget.  I can see
that the single flower goes
aloft on the water of
the pool because it is something
that everything has addressed
to my darling, while I stand
here like some ashes
that used to be a clown,
looking out quietly
from my face to watch the failure
of these words to be those things.

—Denis Johnson, last stanza from “For Jane” in The Incognito Lounge: And Other Poems (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1994)

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