• Hey Phil

    By Juan Felipe Herrera

    for Phil Levine, RIP


    They are writing about you Phil – you know
    good stuff — the prizes Detroit and that
    poem where you said in past lives you
    were that wild sun-crested fox being chased
    by “ladies and gentlemen on horseback” —
    you said you would wake up with the poem
    ready that it slipped untangled from a dream
    all you had to do was sit up and write
    the stage was a poem too – even though
    most of us were too prepared you
    preferred to joke before we went on
    before the poetry light hit us on the face
    it did not matter to you – you just carved
    chiseled punctured rotated danced
    and whirred past a distant gate