Lax poems

bob lax at patmos

bob lax dried his lines
on the bright rocks
of his dumb revelation

today he pulls
on a sweatshirt

never the same gull
pecked at itself
always the same gull
john’s cave keeps him centered
able to amplify
helped the waters lap
& the seagulls cry

tomorrow he stood
on a crag

he went home & died asleep
his dream was that real



Posted March 29, 2008.


bob lax at the inlet

lap                        lap

lap                        lap





Posted April 3, 2008.


lax > merton

tom would hum
for days
we recognized the tune

i forgot the tune
humming again



Posted April 8, 2008

1 comment

  1. Re: bob lax at patmos

    Thanks, dale! Yes: Merton and he corresponded from their Columbia days until Merton’s death.
    March 30, 2008, 10:01:26 AM EDT – Reply

    Merton’s buddy, right? I’ve always wanted to read him.

    This is a great poem! The final couplet is, well, I want to say “a killer!” but without making a pun :-)
    March 29, 2008, 7:34:08 PM EDT – Reply

    Here’s a good article on Lax, and here’s a good essay on his poetry. (The second link is to a pdf file, which takes longer to load.)
    March 29, 2008, 3:46:29 AM EDT – Reply

    Re: bob lax at the inlet

    eileen gould
    My take is somewhat different than Jarrett’s. But isn’t that what poetry is all about?

    Eileen, no degree
    May 27, 2008, 8:55:50 AM EDT – Reply

    Well, on paper . . . (Though I have only a B.A. in English.)
    April 20, 2008, 4:46:15 AM EDT – Reply


    of course, his gender is fairly overpowering … ah but of course, that makes all the white space female, doesn’t it?

    when you’ve done a lit degree, you can find sex anywhere …
    April 19, 2008, 10:05:48 AM EDT – Reply

    Re: lax > merton

    Hi, Lisa! Somehow, I always feel more freed up in the spring even though, on paper, I’m as busy as ever.

    I guess it’s because I’m not implementing stuff this late in the school year. Just lesson planning and grading (and the usual institutional madness).
    April 26, 2008, 4:23:50 AM EDT – Reply

    Love little snippets of life like these. Missed your blog and missed blogging. Spring is here and I feel revived to do more of the things I love! Expect more blogging and blog drop-ins from me! :)
    April 26, 2008, 3:32:31 AM EDT – Reply

    Hi, fiona. My family is well, and I’m doing all right, I think. Nice to hear from you!
    April 20, 2008, 4:41:06 AM EDT – Reply

    fiona robyn
    Hey Peter – really enjoying your poems. I just realised you’d somehow disappeared from my blogroll – no wonder I haven’t visited for a while – have just put that right. Hope all is well with you :)
    April 19, 2008, 5:42:16 PM EDT – Reply

    Eileen, So nice to hear from you! I guess you mean my book review of Merton’s The Way of Chuang Tzu? Because it’s an html file, you can’t download it. You could “bookmark” it or print it, though.

    I’ll email you to see if I can help.
    April 13, 2008, 9:23:07 PM EDT – Reply

    eileen gould

    I tried to downloan Merton on Chuang Tzu but could not…perhaps having to do with Java? I wanted to have a leisurely read. Can you tell me if it’s just my computer illiteracy or my computer.

    April 13, 2008, 7:07:45 PM EDT – Reply

    Thanks, Dave. They’re mine. I’m not sure why the thought of old Lax on an island seems to help me write.
    April 9, 2008, 8:39:03 PM EDT – Reply

    Are thse entirely your own poems, or “found poems” from Merton’s journals? Whichever, I like them a lot.
    April 9, 2008, 2:41:37 PM EDT – Reply

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