Christine Telfer


Fourteen Ways of Looking at the Sky
        after Wallace Stevens
Somewhere in the Green Mountains,
The only moving thing
Was a meteor soaring through the sky.

I was of three minds
Like a starless night
In which there are only three stars.

The meteor’s glow blurred into the dark summer night.
It was a small part of the festivities.

A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and a meteor shower
Are one.

I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of your voice
Or the beauty of your words,
The meteors falling
Or just after.

Mist filled the winding dirt road
With your hideous car.
The shadow of the meteor falling
Nearly collided with us
As it crossed.
The scent 
traced in the meteor’s path.

Oh poor poets of America,
Why do you imagine golden planets?
Do you not see how the meteors
Land at the feet
Of the women and men about you?

I know how to put on a French accent
But am not lucid with its inescapable rhythms;
And I know, too,
That the meteors are involved
In what I know.

When the meteor fell out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of our small infinite circle.

At the sight of meteors
Falling in an eerie gray light,
Even the guardians of silence
Would scream in ecstasy.

He drove to Montreal
In a borrowed Mercedes.
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook 
The shadow of one of his headlights
For meteors.

The river is stagnant.
The meteors must be sleeping.

It was the crack of dawn all night.
The meteors were showering
And then they were going to shower.
The two of us lay
with our backs on the grass,
staring up through the cedar limbs.

A man and a woman and a meteor shower
Are one


On the Existence of Bad Poetry
In a world where no one would ever think
to deny the existence of bad music,
bad milk, bad people, bad art, 
bad government, bad cigarettes 
bad beer, bad wine, bad seeds
bad journalism, bad manners
bad air, bad water, bad drugs
bad sex, bad judgment, bad 
coffee, bad dancing, bad movies
bad teachers, bad students, bad actors
bad dreams, bad ideas, bad children
bad salesmen, bad waiters, bad driving
bad apples, bad paella, bad brie 

why wouldn't there be
bad poetry?


        that being a good poet
will help them
        to get laid.

        for the most part
        this is not the case.

All Copyright, Christine Telfer.
All Rights Reserved. Printed By Permission.