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Dreams

Dreams are okay
as long as they pay.

The Rich Man

That man is rich
who has a scratch
for every itch.

Eugene O'Neill and One Hundred

He was not at home in the world.
The Gods chased him into a corner
Where
With a trembling hand
He touched
His certain romance with the universe
And Calendar.
Love was the cruelest month.

Knowing A Man

Author’s Note: Knowing A Man was written in the Summer of 1960 while I was a graduate student at Iowa University. This poem was inspired by an old Columbia University professor of mine who had stopped in Iowa City to see me on his way to visit his father in Mexico City. When I asked him why he was visiting his father, he replied, “My father is very old, and I never knew his dreams.”

You only know a man when you know his dreams.
His troubles tell you only how he lives.
To discover that which is instead of that which seems,
Don’t ask of his pain,
Ask of his dreams.

On Being Tossed

I’m being tossed in a thousand different directions,

Each with a meaning in time and space,
Each to promise a kind of perfection,
Each to promise an honorable place.

But where is the throne?
Where is the throne,
That will smother the moan,
of being tossed in a thousand different directions?