Friday, August 31, 2012

Marie Howe, New NY State Poet, reads a poem

Here's a video clip of our new State Poet Marie Howe reading her poem "Star Market" during her last visit to the Writers Institute in 2008. Howe will be inaugurated and will read from her work at UAlbany on September 20th.

The poem was first published in the New Yorker in January 2008.

The Star Market

The people Jesus loved were shopping at the Star Market yesterday.
An old lead-colored man standing next to me at the checkout
breathed so heavily I had to step back a few steps.

Even after his bags were packed he still stood, breathing hard and
hawking into his hand. The feeble, the lame, I could hardly look at them:
shuffling through the aisles, they smelled of decay, as if the Star Market

had declared a day off for the able-bodied, and I had wandered in
with the rest of them—sour milk, bad meat—
looking for cereal and spring water.

Jesus must have been a saint, I said to myself, looking for my lost car
in the parking lot later, stumbling among the people who would have
been lowered into rooms by ropes, who would have crept

out of caves or crawled from the corners of public baths on their hands
and knees begging for mercy.

If I touch only the hem of his garment, one woman thought,
could I bear the look on his face when he wheels around?

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