REFLECTIONS ON YOUTH
The loose elements, this striving toward the
Kingdom. The body is a blessing. I wait in
A foothold and bury the evidence. For years
A lamb strutted around on a hillside, never lonely.
The milk of kindness is stirred in a gigantic pot.
My shabby clothes, the sheen of them in the
Moonlight, I remember what I used to be. This
Is good, and it is also not good. Aristocrats and
Barley are carried on a little donkey. And now
We end up with taxi drivers walking by the sea.
The light raimant of my dark voice tells you a
Truth. The world will pardon me for being foul
And mad for a time, yet the dogs bark softly until
The purple night wind is all but gone again.
TO LIVE INTELLIGENTLY
It is always winter here, and the fear
Is just a crash into being tangled. Gnarled
Sister with your lucious drunkenness,
We are not at the end of something. In
A small town by the river, I see ice, ice,
Winter, ice. The snowy days, the small cars
Suddenly stalling. There is no explaining
The unfaithful. It is a technique to think
Of you, there, in that house, of you thinking
Yourself into a maze on the valley’s other
Side. I am not the one doing the judging.
The birds fall out of the trees, and in the freezing
Rain, there is some music. I am feeling around
Here for some smoothness, some respite.
What I find is that I almost hear the undergrowth
Creeping past us.
Noelle Kocot is the author of five books of poetry, most recently, Poem for the End of Time and Other Poems (Wave Books, 2006), Sunny Wednesday (Wave, 2009) and The Bigger World (Wave, 2011). She has also published a book of translations of the French poet Tristan Corbiere (Wave, 2011). She is the recipient of numerous awards, including those from The Academy of American Poets, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Fund for Poetry and The American Poetry Review. Her work has been included in Best American Poetry 2001 and 2012. She lives in New Jersey and teaches writing in New York.