poem after a poem by césar vallejo w/ a nod to donald justice

A poem by Jay Hopler.

 

i will die in the desert on a sunny day

b/c i was born in the islands

on a rainy one

i will die in the desert this cannot be helped

maybe on a friday as today is a friday at the beginning of

      a cold spring

 

it will be a friday b/c today friday stoned & alone i drove

     into the west desert & grieved

my own passing & never so much as today do i feel

in the middle of a 2-lane road

empty for 1,000 years in both

directions

 

jay hopler is dead his life was as easy as it got

& he had the scars to prove it

these are the witnesses: all the fridays & the rains & the sun

      & the road & every grain of sand

      in that desert



Jay Hopler’s first collection of poetry, Green Squall (2006), was chosen by Louise Glück as the winner of the Yale Younger Poets Prize; his second collection, The Abridged History of Rainfall (2016), was a finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry. As an editor and translator, his works include The Killing Spirit: An Anthology of Murder for Hire (1998), Before the Door of God: An Anthology of Devotional Poetry (edited with his spouse, poet and Renaissance scholar Kimberly Johnson, 2013), and The Museum of Small Dark Things: 25 Poems by Georg Trakl (2016). The recipient of numerous honors and awards, including a fellowship from the Lannan Foundation, a Whiting Award, a Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award, two Florida Book Awards, and the Rome Prize in Literature, he lives with his family in Salt Lake City.

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Thumbnail image by Glenn Malone via Flickr / CC.

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