Saturday, June 8, 2019

Brian Beatty On Kenneth Koch

Borrowed Trouble: Micro Tribute to Kenneth Koch (1925-2002)

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

Kenneth Koch

A mail order beret?
What was I thinking?

It shipped from Paris,
sure. Paris, Illinois.

I suppose you don’t
know where that is.

Look it up in an atlas.
They used to be given

away at gas stations.

– 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. Growing up and reading out in the heart of "flyover country" I've always had fun reimagining what writers of coastal movements like the New York School would've written living where I do.

  2. An incredibly secondary confession: I've always thought that in his later years Koch looked like he should be guest starring on The Love Boat.


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