I retired from the SUNY Buffalo English Department in 2004. Have published a dozen or so collections of poems. Such my addiction to the sport of squash racquets my headstone is to read: "ONE MORE GAME?" See more of my poems HERE.
The Biographies of Solitude
Blue the hills, red the fields,
where the kisses and blows were dealt ...
How eager they were, marching away,
enlistees in the horde of love.
Farewell the sweethearts
— they never came back.
Welcome, sisters of solitude.
And who will say these lives have been?
Solitude has no biographers.
Nonetheless, hands move across the pages.
Nonetheless, empty pages go from hand to hand.
Nonetheless, papers blow over the landscape
of magical names, the beautiful promises.
One is in snowy Idaho, raging.
One in California sits before her mirror,
One takes hot baths in Tennessee,
to calm herself, calm herself down.
In Kansas one scribbles madly.
One walks in a daze in the crowds
on Forty-second Street, barefoot,
her feet bruised, day after day.
In the hospital of the wind.
What the flood has spared is given
into the keeping of the whirlwind.
Day after day the wind
numbering the losses ...
"From now on I will love only myself."
"I no longer try to make sense to people."
"It's all a game anyway."
"Back then I still had my ideals.
No sacrifice was too much for me.
I was strong. I felt everything."
"I don't even pity myself anymore."
They bite their lips.
Shrug their shoulders.
"What is there left to protect?"
"Who can you trust?"
How America is immense and filled with solitudes!
-published last in COLLECTED POEMS 1954-2004 (Schocken 2004)
©2015 Irving Feldman