The Cortland Review

Gerald Stern
Five poems by Gerald Stern.

Christopher Buckley
Michael Burkard
Jeff Friedman
Ross Gay
Jack Gilbert This marks an author's first online publication
Linda Gregg
Jane Hirshfield
Tony Hoagland
Joan Larkin
Dorianne Laux
Jan Heller Levi
Anne Marie Macari
Ed Ochester
Alicia Ostriker
Kathleen Peirce This marks an author's first online publication
Peter Richards
Ira Sadoff
Jean Valentine
Arthur Vogelsang This marks an author's first online publication
Judith Vollmer
Anne Waldman
Peter Waldor
Michael Waters This marks an author's first online publication
"The Final Vocabulary of Gerald Stern" by David Rigsbee.

Book Review
"Save the Last Dance" by Gerald Stern—Book Review, by David Rigsbee.

Peter Waldor

Peter Waldor is the author of Door to a Noisy Room (Alice James Books, 2008). He has been praying at the temple of Gerald Stern's poetry for nearly 40 years.

Passing Through a Sleeve    

Fingers pursed
as if holding thread
before a needle,
then they push
through the sleeve,
silky and dark
inside, filling
as a pipe fills.
The sound,
a puff only,
a distant rock slide,
and not much dust,
just a hand opens
at the other
end of the sleeve,
a flower,
fingers spread
in pleasure,
then the hand draws
its fingers in again
around a fat modern key,
because the bridal
shower is over
and the goddesses
go for their cars.
The lucky young man
and his brother carry
boxes piled to their heads,
full of silver
that won't be used,
it is so precious
and so will have
a long wait
for others to clean it
from a breakfront,
others who will
pass through
other sleeves
in brief pleasure.



© 2008 The Cortland Review