A Word for Berryman

By Paul Allen


“Berryman leapt to his death from a bridge in Minneapolis”—Dacey and Jauss, Strong Measures
“He jumped from a height of a hundred feet”—Cody Walker, Kenyon Review Blog
“He died by throwing himself off a bridge.”—poets.org, Academy of American Poets

Dog tired, suisired, a thing so heavy–
I doubt leapt, jumped, throw les mots juste
for his worn doing.  Perhaps viscosity
should be there someplace, a thick, slow ooze
face first over and done.  We can’t hock
the clock that loses an era a day, wag;
the molted cuckoo’s throttled to a clunk.
No more tricks up our sleeve (or trouser leg).

The slogging tome won’t end, organically.
The plot goes cold. The protagonist is Winter.
“Goo-Goo”  “Woo-Who” “Make Do” “Déjà Vu” –
the chapters went along swimmingly
until we hit that turgid “Déjà Vu” denouement delaying the final chapter.
The dread we’d be assigned a Vol. II.


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