from "A Poem for Painters" (poem also in New American Poetry)

text based on Wieners's performance on this .ram recording at Factory School

This nation is so large, like
our hands, our love it lives
with no lover, looking only
for the beloved, back home
into the heart, New York,
New England, Vermont green
mountains, and Massachusetts
my city, Boston and the sea.
Again to smell what this calm
ocean cannot tell us. The seasons.
Only the heart remembers
and records them in the words
of works
we lay down for those men
who come to them.


At last. I come to the last defense.

My poems contain no
wilde beast, no
lady of the lake no music
of the spheres, or organ chants,

yet I know by these lines
I betray what little given me.

One needs no defense.
Only the record of a man's
struggle to stay with
what is his own, what
lies within him to do.

Without which is nothing,
And I come to this,
knowing the waste, leaving

the rest up to love
and its twisted faces
my hands claw out at
only to draw back from the
blood already running there.

Oh come back, whatever heart
you are left. It is my life
you save.