Instead by Frank Stanford

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Frank Stanford

Instead
by Frank Stanford

Death is a good word.
It often returns
When it is very
Dark outside and hot,
Like a fisherman
Over the limit,
Without pain, sex,
Or melancholy.
Young as I am, I
Hold light for this boat.
When the rest of you
Were being children
I became a monk
To my own listing
Imagination.
Nights and days floated
Over the whorehouse
Like webs on the lake,
A monastery
Full of noise and girls.
The moon throws the knives.
The poets echo goodbye,
Towing silence too.
Near my house was an
Island, where a horse
Lathered up alone.
Oh, Abednego
He was called, dusky,
Cruel as a poem
To a black gypsy.
Sadness and whiskey
Cost more than friends.
I visit prisons,
Orphanages, joints,
Hoping I’ll see them
Again. Willows, ice,
Minnows, no money.
You’ll have to say it
Soon, you know. To your
Wife, your child, yourself.

Frank Stanford (August 1, 1948 – June 3, 1978) was a prolific American poet. He is most known for his epic, The Battlefield Where The Moon Says I Love You— a labyrinthine, highly lexical book absent stanzas and punctuation. In addition, Stanford published six shorter books of poetry throughout his 20s, and three posthumous collections of his writings (as well as a book of selected poems) have also been published.

Just shy of his 30th birthday, Stanford died on June 3, 1978 in his home in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the victim of three self-inflicted pistol wounds to the heart.

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  1. Pingback: Book Review: The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You | FrogenYozurt.Com - Online Literature Magazine

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