Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday Poetry: Kenneth Koch

What can I say. I like the guy. This poem has a lot to do with what's on my mind lately, anyway.

Kenneth Koch
To My Old Addresses

Help! Get out of here! Go walking!
Forty-six (I think) Commerce Street, New York City
The Quai des Brumes nine thousand four hundred twenty-six, Paris
Georgia Tech University Department of Analogues
Jesus Freak Avenue No. 2, in Clattery, Michigan
George Washington Model Airplane School, Bisbee, Arizona
Wonderland, the stone font, Grimm's Fairy Tales
Forty-eight Greenwich Avenue the landlady has a dog
She lets run loose in the courtyard seven
Charles Street which Stefan Volpe sublet to me
Hotel Des Fleurus in Paris, Via Convincularia in Rome
Where the motorcycles speed
Twelve Hamley Road in Southwest London O
My old addresses! O my addresses! Are you addresses still?
Or has the hand of Time roughed over you
And buffered and stuffed you with peels of lemons, limes, and shells
From old institutes? If I address you
It is mostly to know if you are well.
I am all right but I think I will never find
Sustenance as I found in you, oh old addresses
Numbers that sink into my soul
Forty-eight, nineteen, twenty-three, O worlds in which I was alive!


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