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2 Poems by Louis Phillips

American Life in Poetry: Column 691

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

I’ve arrived at an age at which I avoid looking into my old address books, although I’ve kept them all. Too many of those addresses are those of people no longer among us. Louis Phillips, a New Yorker, catches that feeling of loss in this poem from The Domain of Silence; The Domain of Absence: New & Selected Poems, from Pleasure Boat Studio.

The Address Book

How could I predict
That my life wd become whatever,
So many people
Passing thru—address books

Filled with names & numbers
I no longer recognize,
Pages torn loose,
Addresses crossed out,

Lives badly smudged,
Decades of earnest grief,
Missed opportunities,
Phones disconnected.

What am I now?
Just another old man
Among old men.
Turn the calendar upside down

& let the days fall out.

 

CHAUCERIAN SONNET: A TALE OF
THE CLARK OF KENT

A Clark there was of Kent also

 That unto comic strips longe ygo

 Made a byggen splash, tho lene was his readers’ brains

As if they didn’t knowen to come out of rain.

This Clark was a reporter, mild and just,

Who for Lois Lane hungered with great lust,

But this meek carl –and this is God’s own truth –

Could change himself in any payphone booth

Into a hero faster than a speeding duck

(Some folks haven all the luck!)

& flew villains toward Lawe’s iron reche

For gladly would he learn and gladly teche

That Crime payeth not & is not too sound

When Superman leapeth over tall buildings

   with a single bound.

 Louis Phillips

 **

PICK UP LINES

What’s a reader like you

Doing with a poem like this?

 

 Louis Phillips

from ROWING TO THE SILLY ISLANDS (World Audience Books)