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Poems by Art Greve


Long day today, the phone
brought only news of yesterday's
sorrows. Outside, the wind's fingers
slap a discarded cellophane wrapper
against the grille of a car. Somewhere,
a dog trudges head-down a dusty alley,
while tin cans clatter in the tired shadows
of an elm tree slowly teaching
itself to die. The summer heat waves
a translucent poetry over the asphalt
paths that define our journeys
until it dies, a last breath pushed
out, a quiet farewell to a today
filled with too little toward
a tomorrow already regretting its future.
Sparks that fly over midnight campfires
rise into the dark curtain and are swallowed
by their own vanity. And I,
standing in front of the glass
that looks onto Eden Prairie, Minnesota,
close the drapes, lock the doors, cover
the parakeets, and then,
with the greatest of ease,
turn off the lights.

For Mary Beth

Suppose after the emails shared into the night,
and this brief encounter face-to-face
we walk away with a shrug
to the doorman and our empty cars?
Suppose the way our eyes meet
doesn't draw us in to what we seek?
Suppose the way you brush the hair
from your eyes does not endear you,
nor the way I smile or pull
at my moustache make your
Irish Catholic face smile.
Suppose all that is left
from this hour at the Sofitel Hotel
is a riddle in search of a solution, a connection
still waiting to be made?

If all that is true, then hear
me now, Mary Beth of Richfield,
this moment was not wasted.
For on your side of the table
between us are the poems
written just for you,
the last book by Raymond Carver,
his own journey toward feeling beloved.
And on my side, oh my,
across from me a woman
who brought these warm words
from that frozen place they slept
all those years into this day's sun,
July 26, 2000,
just the right time and place and
undeniably because of you,
don't you suppose?

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Biographical sketch: Single father of two teenage girls; work in the financial services industry.

Art Greve recommends:

One for the Rose by Philip Levine

Reason: Levine is extraordinary to me because of the strength of his imagery and lack of

Recommendations for writers:

Write for yourself first.



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