Poems of the Week – Raymond Carver


The Current

These fish have no eyes
these silver fish that come to me in my dreams,
scattering their roe and milt
in the pockets of my brain.

But there’s one that comes –
heavy, scarred, silent like the rest,
that simply holds against the current,

closing its dark mouth against
the current, closing and opening
as it holds to the current.


All I know about medicine I picked up
from my doctor friend in El Paso
who drank and took drugs. We were buddies
until I moved East. I’m saying
I was never sick a day in my life.
But something has appeared
on my shoulder and continues to grow.
A wen, I think, and love the word
but not the thing itself, whatever
it is. Late at night my teeth ache
and the phone rings. I’m ill,
unhappy and alone. Lord!
Give me your unsteady knife,
doc. Give me your hand, friend.

The Sunbather, to Herself

A kind of
airy dullness;
head is a puddle,
heart & fingers –
all extremities —
under your indifferent

Now old sun,
pour into me,
be rough
with me,
strengthen me
against that other,
that bastard.

* all poems from All of Us: The Collected Poems, Alfred A. Knopf, 1998.

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