The problem is urgent, yes, for this hot light
we so love may not last.
Man seems to be darkening himself;
you must still for some & the other depend on him,
but perhaps essentially now it is your turn.

Your three sons, your political career,
your husband’s legal work & fervency in bed,
your story-writing, your great bodily freshness
at thirty-one now, yes, for the problem is urgent
as a spasm of diarrhea.

You must perhaps both pray for & abandon
your peculiar strength of patience,
daring daily more or all.

Oddly crowned with a solitary ailanthus,
the tortured red hills to this hot light swell with pride.


I saw/heard/awed Ralph Nader on the Cavett Show:
gentle, selfless, relentless
his uncanny giant moral force of Marian Anderson’s ‘we.’

A terror of being, for your own good, penetrated—
and brother we are all virgin in this audience;
the glee of its happening (at last) to some other (vast) bastard.

The final (group-)‘confession,’ another night,
of the (very nervous) commander of the Pueblo:
triumphant blasts, under horrid crisis, of American humour.

This little Dick our spokesman, not that prick Dick
lying in the White House. I’d confide in this Dick.
He’s awful good. And when he does goof, he makes fun of himself.

I wish that were more American.

This Issue

October 8, 1970