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Voice Mail for Wallace Stevens


Wallace—(did they really call you Wallace?)

I’d like a word with you, now that you’ve got

your lock on immortality:  you wrote

in euphonies, making the angels jealous,

then went ahead and dared the rest of us

to deconstruct the textual implications.

Well—about a million dissertations

later—there's still no consensus, Wallace.

Just incessant inharmoniousness

along with thirteen thousand ways of looking

at a bird, a nightgown, or the plucking

of a strange guitar.  In fact, I guess

we'll never chase your tigers very far,

nor trap your perfect genius in a jar.


Marilyn L. Taylor



© 2000; originally printed in Smartish Pace.
Reprinted by permission of the author.

Background by
Purple Woods

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