Body Blows: Poems New and Selected by Robert Bagg

By Robert Bagg

Robert Bagg's poetry has been praised for its energy, grace, and sensuality, in addition to for its humor and sly, understanding irony. during this, his most modern assortment, he deals the very best of his past paintings in addition to a variety of latest poems. Bagg's varieties contain elegies, lengthy narratives, lyrics, a sonnet series, and meditations on spiritual and philosophic issues. He writes of such modern pre occupations as nuclear conflict, terrorism, suicide, insanity, divorce, and on such classical issues because the dying of acquaintances, tough or misplaced love, eroticism, time, and memory―ancient subject matters that fire up primal longings and fears in we all.

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Page viii AUTHOR'S NOTE The poems here collected were written over the past thirty-one years. Several have been substantially revised for this volume and most have undergone some minor changes. I should like to thank the following institutions that provided support while I was at work over the years on these poems: Amherst College, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the University of Massachusetts, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the American Academy in Rome. I have benefited from comments and suggestions on these poems generously given by Thomas Gould, James Scully, Donald Junkins, Karla Alwes, Richard Todd, and Sally Bagg.

I open whore and oranges fall on me. Plenty makes me ache softly in the balls.  She senses I am about to say cat and then wife.  When I launch out of bed she's there, cat in an arch of pleasure, grazing my shin. My hand pummels and reverses her grain until fur reeks of you though you still sleep. The cat's out of the bag and the sky's torn two feet of snow have fallen overnight, its fresh white depth rubs against our warmth, so vast a trophy fur we wonder who subdued it to this sullen animal who resists and pleasures our moving through it, who shuts the city down, whose seventh life is icy treachery as I drive its roads.

The real ones don't have real bellies zombie women who somehow die unlaid, fogging up woodlands with a sad ballade of love gone begging on damp May Eves. Get caught out cruising, man, and you'll be had if Willies breathe their music up your sleeves. You'll dance a Pas de Voodoo no one ever leaves.  "When may Eve comes" said I, propping him up, "we'll test Gould's lore. " But no one's passion in the slightest cooled. I drew beer from the almost pressureless keg, swearing I would deliver Phi Psi from this plague.

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