drink the wet / from the skin of the back

I’ve just ordered Pat Schneider’s Another River, after reading her poems “Sound of the Night Train” and “The Patience of Ordinary Things.” The latter was posted at Carla Zilbersmith‘s blog, which I stumbled upon via Alison Luterman‘s website, which I visited earlier tonight in part because I had California on my mind.

This weekend’s rereadings included Ronald Wallace’s answer to Donald Hall. The last line totally doesn’t work for me, but it’s clearly a darling to Wallace, seeing that it titles his explication page. *shrug* That said, I bought The Uses of Adversity years ago because of his sonnets “The Student Theme” (“The adjectives all ganged up on the nouns…”) and “The Bad Sonnet” (“It stayed up late, refused to go to bed…”); this time around, what made me sit up were “God’s Handiwork” (“We like to vilify our enemies / with metaphor’s elaborate construc-/ tions. Viruses are hoodlums run amok…”) and “Statutes of Limitations,” the latter dedicated to “C.L.L., 1946-1992”:

…Oh, why did we take
the trooper’s word that what we did was wrong
and slink home embarrassed and estranged
and lose the simple we in love’s sweet song,
and see the harm in harmony? Time’s rearranged
us. I am here, and you are gone. Because,
because. Oh, there are laws. And there are laws.