His malice was a pimple down his good
big face, with its sly eyes. I must be sorry
Mr. Frost has left:
I like it so less I don’t understood—
he couldn’t hear or see well—all we sift—
but this is a bad story.

He had fine stories and was another man
in private: difficult, always. Courteous,
on the whole, in private.
He apologized to Henry, off & on,
for a blue slander; which was good of him.
I don’t know how he made it.

Quickly, to hell with all but kindness, now.
I can’t say what I have in mind. Bless Frost,
any god around.
Gentle his transit, I doom you & command,
idiot deity. For a while here we had
an unusual man.


The Russian Butcher blows his condolence
to the family: ah but it’s Kay,
& Ted, & Chris & Ann,
Henry thinks of: who eased his fearful way
from here, in here, to there. This requires thought.
I won’t make it out.

Maybe the source of noble such may come
“all clear” to dazzled Henry. It may come.
I’d say it will come with pain.
in mystery. I’d rather leave it alone.
I do leave it alone.
And down with the listener.

Now he has become, abrupt, an industry.
Professional-Friends-Of-Robert-Frost all over
open their mouths
while the quirky medium of so many truths
is quiet. Let’s all be quiet. Let’s listen:
while he begins to talk with Horace.


Goodbye, sir, & fare well. You’re in the clear.
“Nobody” (Mark says you said) “is ever found out.”
I figure you were right,
having as Henry got away with murder
for decades. Some jarred clock tells us it’s late,
not for you who went straight

but for the lorn. Our roof is lefted off
lately: the shooter, and the bourbon man,
and then you got tired.
I’m afraid that’s it. I figure you with love,
in life, in death, but I have a little sense
the rest of us are fired

or fired: be with us, and we’ll blow our best,
our sad wild riffs come easy in that case,
thinking you over,
kowing you resting, who were reborn to rest,
your gorgeous sentence done. Nothing’s the same,
sir,—taking cover.

This Issue

February 1, 1963