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For William Carlos Williams by Louis Dudek

You want your truths told of you—
        those wavery lines!
                 Each pencil mark’s a fiddlehead
                         unfolding to an island of wild fern,
O hell, did you have to do it
                                     now, Bill
when we were just getting
the whiplash of your New Measure, crack
             of the words in the sun, over the woman eating
plums, over the burning greens?

When we were getting the hang of it, to your glory,
               and bringing the baskets home,
stuff you planted in your Earlier and Later
                                               Collected Poems

praising the world
             and talking to the cabman
about “Pound and economics” so many beginnings

Those forceps, stethoscopes (the way to their hearts)
and medical books you could never keep up with
                     —thrown away, finished?

Isn’t it (death) stupid? That all a man is,
              those immediate moments
you tried to cling to, should be thought “ephemeral”?

Death is a liar, Bill Williams    Don’t think for a minute
              that we believe him   It’s all the same
It’s as you said, every minute of it, here, now, real and forever.