James Schuyler (1923–1991) was a preeminent figure in the celebrated New York School of poets. He grew up in Washington, D.C., and near Buffalo, New York. After World War II, he made his way to Italy, where he served for a time as W.H. Auden’s secretary. His books include three novels, A Nest of Ninnies (written with John Ashbery), Alfred and Guinevere, and What’s For Dinner, as well as numerous volumes of poetry.
On a day like this the rain comes
down in fat and random drops among
the ailanthus leaves—“the tree
of Heaven”—the leaves that on moon-
lit nights shimmer black and blade-
shaped at this third-floor window.
TRIP Wigging in, wigging out: when I stop to think the wires in my head cross: kaboom. How many trips by ambulance (two, count them two), claustrated, pill addiction, in and out of mental hospitals, the suicidalness (once I …