only through porous antique
gestures of will can our love
be truly maintained as the set
of administrative functions we
require it to be, so as to weave
and burn with philanthropic glee
Other parts of the poem get very complicated, and it becomes temporarily difficult to follow the leaps the poet makes through sounds and syntax. But always he comes back to the basic elements of American speech and the direct representation of emotion, an attitude he seems to trust even as he forces us to challenge the prejudices of our own experience of language. After the last "Have a Good One," he writes only: "Yes." And that seems right, even possible.
Anselm Berrigan reads at the U-M Residential College on Thursday, April 1.
[Originally published in March, 2010.]