Feature > Poetry
Steve Huff

Steve Huff

Steve Huff is the author of two collections of poems, More Daring Escapes and The Water We Came From, and a collecion of stories, A Pig in Paris. He teaches in the Solstice low-residency MFA Program in Creative Writing at Pine Manor College. The former publisher at BOA Editions, he is now founder and publisher of Tiger Bark Press. He lives in Rochester, NY.
I’m moved more every time I read this poem. The idea of a circular eternity is ancient, of course, but “Tomorrow and Tomorrow” gives it sudden life in the kitchen of dailiness, of nagging déjà-vu. It is the ha-ha of the familiar in the notion that eternity might be that we’re going around the same old roller rink again, and that we’re damned to this comical orbit. A great poem can do this: not only butt into the phone conversation you’ve been having with yourself (and thought no one else was having), but also clarify it for you, and crack you up besides. Kurt never shied away from such essentially unanswerable questions or ones we have long assumed are unanswerable, and he would give us at least a new perspective on them. And here, maybe, he has given some meaning to chasing our tails.

Tomorrow And Tomorrow

Of course there's an afterlife, and one
after that, and another, etc., until the afterlives
circle eternity to become the life
you lived before this one, making this one
an afterlife too. No wonder you sleep late,
trying to avoid the little tasks and obligations,
the aches and pains that make up yesterday's afterlife
which is, of course, today's present.
There's no avoiding that. Though your head
aches to think of it, and you'd rather
linger by the window with your coffee
watching the neighbor's dog chase its tail.
Still, you can't help thinking that maybe
the present is just a beach on which all our yesterdays
have washed up, hollow and resounding.
But resounding with what? This will get you
nowhere, you think and go back
for another cup, though it occurs to you
that you've done this all before too—
not only the cup of coffee you just drank,
but all the coffees on all those other mornings...
Now you're back where you started,
and your head aches again, and you want
nothing but to sit there peacefully in the window
watching the neighbor's dog chase its tail
never really catching it, yet never giving up.


Thomas Lux

Thomas Lux
At the Blue Gates


Stephen Dunn

Stephen Dunn
On Kurt Brown...


Charles Simic

Charles Simic