08 January 2009

Robert Creeley

[from Robert Creeley's On Earth: Last Poems and an Essay, University of California, 2006]

Later (Wrightsville Beach)

Crusoe again, confounded, confounding purposes,
cruising, looking around for edges of the familiar,
the places he was in back then,

wherever, all the old sand and water.
How much he thought to be there he can't remember.
Shipwreck wasn't thinkable at least until

after it happened, and then he began at the edge,
the beach, going forward, backward, until he found the place again.
Even years slipped past us in the background.

The water, waves, sand, backdrop of the houses,
all changed now by the locals, the tourists,
whoever got there first and what they could make of it.

But his story is real too, the footprint, the displacement
when for the first time another is there, not just imagined,
and won't necessarily agree with anything, won't go away.

On Earth: Last Poems and an Essay

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