Random Symmetries: The Collected Poems of Tom Andrews

By Tom Andrews | Go to book overview

IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

My brother died in the twentieth century.
I played hopscotch at twilight in the twentieth century.
The dead gave us whiplash in the twentieth century.

I saw the moon shipwrecked in the twentieth century.
I lived in a country of fireflies in the twentieth century.
The dead wanted us all to themselves in the twentieth century.

My brother died in the twentieth century.
I wasted three years on geometry in the twentieth century.
I shed pints of blood in the twentieth century.

The dead exhausted themselves in the twentieth century.
The dead echoed like hammer-strokes in the twentieth century.
The dead drank fistfuls of rainwater in the twentieth century.

I ate sweet apples in the twentieth century.
I ate my peck of dirt in the twentieth century.
I ate my words in the twentieth century.

My father was ten minutes older than the twentieth century.
He shoveled black coal in pitch dark in the twentieth century.
My brother died in the twentieth century.

My mother watched Gone with the Wind thirty-two times in the twentieth
century.

She sold zucchini and rhubarb in the twentieth century.
I wrote ridiculous poems in the twentieth century.

I was incapable of keeping silent in the twentieth century.
My marriage ended in the twentieth century.
My marriage ended in the twentieth century.

-262-

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Random Symmetries: The Collected Poems of Tom Andrews
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Tom Andrews- An Appreciation 1
  • I 5
  • The Brother’s Country - (John Andrews, 1956–1980) 7
  • II 15
  • Song of a Country Priest 17
  • May I Read You a Few Lines from Pepys’ Diary? 20
  • Four Purgatory Poems 24
  • Triptych- Augustine of Hippo 26
  • Paul Celan 36
  • Animist 38
  • After Bobrowski 39
  • Thinking of Wallace Stevens 41
  • Private Collection 42
  • Dr. Farnsworth, a Chiropodist, Lived in Ohio, Where He Wrote Only the First Lines of Poems 45
  • Postcards to Günter Eich 47
  • III 49
  • A Language of Hemophilia 51
  • The Hemophiliac’s Motorcycle 71
  • I 73
  • The Hemophiliac’s Motorcycle 75
  • II 81
  • At Burt Lake 83
  • Ars Poetica 84
  • Praying with George Herbert in Late Winter 85
  • A Visit to the Cathedral 87
  • Reading Frank O’Hara in the Hospital 88
  • Reading the Tao Te Ching in the Hospital 90
  • When Comfort Arrives 91
  • Evening Song 96
  • III 97
  • Hymning the Kanawha 99
  • IV 109
  • Codeine Diary 111
  • 25 Short Films about Poetry 131
  • The Temptation of Saint Augustine 171
  • Argument 173
  • Left Panel - Throughout the Year 385 a. D 177
  • Central Panel - 370—385 a. D 195
  • Right Panel - 391- AD 251
  • Last Poems 261
  • In the Twentieth Century 262
  • About the Author 265
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