Saturday, March 14, 2020

Brian Beatty on Philip Levine

Borrowed Trouble: Micro Tribute to Philip Levine (1928-2015)

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

Philip Levine

My late grandmother 
believed in her Bible as well 
as all the old superstitions.
Rocking an empty rocking chair, 
for instance, invited death 
or something worse into your home. 
From her cold senior citizen apartment 
up on the fourth floor to escape 
the fires of Hell she sent money 
she couldn’t spare to her favorite 
call-in radio evangelists. 
When you visited, you prayed 
and watched whatever show was playing 
on her tiny black-and-white TV.

– Brian Beatty


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Brian's recent collections of poetry are Dust and Stars: Miniatures and Brazil, Indiana


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1 comment:

  1. Levine was among my first favorite poets because his poems told vivid stories of working class people not unlike folks I knew.

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