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Poem Beginning with a Line by Frank Lima

by Lisa Jarnot

And how terrific it is to write a radio poem

and how terrific it is to stand on the roof and

watch the stars go by and how terrific it is to be

misled inside a hallway, and how terrific it is

to be the hallway as it stands inside the house,

and how terrific it is, shaped like a telephone,

to be filled with scotch and stand out on the street,

and how terrific it is to see the stars inside the radios

and cows, and how terrific the cows are, crossing

at night, in their unjaundiced way and moving

through the moonlight, and how terrific the night is,

purveyor of the bells and distant planets, and how

terrific it is to write this poem as I sleep, to sleep

in distant planets in my mind and cross at night the

cows in hallways riding stars to radios at night, and

how terrific night you are, across the bridges, into

tunnels, into bars, and how terrific it is that you are

this too, the fields of planetary pull, terrific, living

on the Hudson, inside the months of spring, an

underwater crossing for the cows in dreams, terrific,

like the radios, the songs, the poem and the stars.

LISA JARNOT will be the featured reader at Just Buffalo Literary Center's "BIG NIGHT!" event at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Western New York Book Arts Center, 468 Washington St. A Buffalo native, she studied with Robert Creeley at the University at Buffalo, before moving on to receive her master's degree in fine arts from Brown University. She is the author of four full-length collections of poetry: "Some Other Kind of Mission" (Burning Deck Press, 1996), "Ring of Fire" (Salt Publishers, 2003), "Black Dog Songs" (Flood Editions, 2003) and "Night Scenes" (Flood Editions, 2008). Her biography of the San Francisco poet Robert Duncan is forthcoming in 2011. She lives in Sunnyside, N.Y., with her husband and daughter.

* Frank Lima (b. 1937) is a New York City-based Puerto Rican-American poet and peer of Frank O'Hara and many of the Beats. Some have called him "the Rimbaud of postwar Spanish Harlem."