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
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
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.