November 1999

Stephen Cushman

Stephen Cushman Stephen Cushman's first book of poems, Blue Pajamas, was published by LSU in 1998. He is also the author of two books of criticism, William Carlos Williams and the Meanings of Measure (Yale, 1985) and Fictions of Form in American Poetry (Princeton, 1993), as well as of a creative non-fiction treatment of the Civil War, Bloody Promenade: Reflections on a Civil War Battle (Virginia, 1999). He teaches at the University of Virginia.

Between Blackfriars and Waterloo    Click to hear in real audio

In a country that dreads most color
it looks so loud against the mud,

black mud and red blanket spread
by the edge of the shriveled Thames

as strollers crowd the Queen's Walk
to lean on a railing and study the scene:

two policewomen in black caps,
white shirts, neckties, two guys

in huge rubber boots dredging the shallows,
pewter clouds overhead that let the sun

leak on the mud through cracks of blue,
and under the blanket something uncovered

by outgoing tide, somebody's body
shrouded in my favorite color.



Stephen Cushman: Poetry
Copyright 1999 The Cortland Review Issue NineThe Cortland Review