Sunday, April 28, 2019

Brian Beatty On Larry Levis

Borrowed Trouble: Micro Tribute to Larry Levis (1946-1996)

I wouldn’t write at all if it weren’t for myriad writers before me whose works showed me what was possible. The poems of this series are small offerings of respect, of thanks, to those muses. – Brian Beatty

Larry Levis

New Harmony, Indiana, 1995.

Our afternoon game of pool lasted
well into the night of the student poetry reading 
we agreed would be better off without us.

The bar jukebox blared the Allman Brothers’ 
“In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” on repeat as if to bring her 
or this failed utopia for three-two beer back to life. 

Low-point townies followed me into 
that toilet’s toilet to share their idea of an elegy. 
Until you appeared at the men’s room door to give me my cue.

– Brian Beatty

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Brian's most recent collections of poetry are Dust and Stars: Miniatures and Brazil, Indiana. Don't miss Brian's columns on the great poets: insert your email address in the "Follow By Email" box to the right of this article and you'll be notified every time a new article appears.


  1. I met Larry Levis at a writers' conference, though I wasn't in his poetry workshop. We played pool and fended off disgruntled townies rather than talk writing. There may have been the aforementioned beer involved.

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