for Jim Hall  

Milosz lectured
that books on poetry
find more readers,
in the new old West,
than poetry itself. This
is not a good sign.  

A competing poet
would have to pretend
more self knowledge
than poets are allowed
to possess. This
is not a good sign either.  

School, said Jim
one dark November
slice, is about
putting things in. Poetry
is about taking it out.  

But a lesser, essentially evil
spirit, writes my
poems, Milosz confessed.
Who can draw out creation
with a magnet? Poetry
needs more contrast.  

And if the litera, the
moralis, the allegoria,
diagrams a scene, the
anagoria fleshes it
with spirit. This is the
domain of theory. 

So here I am, June.
Laid once again in rain
and wetness, grateful
words still arrive
in the cricket mail. This is
me taking things out.