Submit Your Poems
Get Your Premium Membership

Best Famous James Tate Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous James Tate poems. This is a select list of the best famous James Tate poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous James Tate poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of James Tate poems.

Search for the best famous James Tate poems, articles about James Tate poems, poetry blogs, or anything else James Tate poem related using the PoetrySoup search engine at the top of the page.

See also: Best Member Poems

Go Back

by James Tate | |

Thinking Ahead To Possible Options And A Worst-Case Scenario

 I swerved to avoid hitting a squirrel
in the center of the road and that's when
the deer came charging out of the forest
and forced me to hit the brakes for all I
was worth and I careened back to the other
side of the road just as a skunk came toddling
out of Mrs.
Bancroft's front yard and I swung back perhaps just grazing it a bit.
I glanced quickly in the rearview mirror and in that instant a groundhog waddled from the side of the road and I zigzagged madly and don't know if I nipped it or not because up ahead I could see a coyote stalking the Collier's cat.
Oh well, I said, and drove the rest of the way home without incident.


by James Tate | |

Goodtime Jesus

 Jesus got up one day a little later than usual.
He had been dream- ing so deep there was nothing left in his head.
What was it? A nightmare, dead bodies walking all around him, eyes rolled back, skin falling off.
But he wasn't afraid of that.
It was a beau- tiful day.
How 'bout some coffee? Don't mind if I do.
Take a little ride on my donkey, I love that donkey.
Hell, I love everybody.


by James Tate | |

My Great Great Etc. Uncle Patrick Henry

 There's a fortune to be made in just about everything
in this country, somebody's father had to invent
everything--baby food, tractors, rat poisoning.
My family's obviously done nothing since the beginning of time.
They invented poverty and bad taste and getting by and taking it from the boss.
O my mother goes around chewing her nails and spitting them in a jar: You shouldn't be ashamed of yourself she says, think of your family.
My family I say what have they ever done but paint by numbers the most absurd and disgusting scenes of plastic squalor and human degradation.
Well then think of your great great etc.
Uncle Patrick Henry.


by James Tate | |

Head of a White Woman Winking

 She has one good bumblebee
which she leads about town
on a leash of clover.
It's as big as a Saint Bernard but also extremely fragile.
People want to pet its long, shaggy coat.
These would be mostly whirling dervishes out shopping for accessories.
When Lily winks they understand everything, right down to the particle of a butterfly's wing lodged in her last good eye, so the situation is avoided, the potential for a cataclysm is narrowly averted, and the bumblebee lugs its little bundle of shaved nerves forward, on a mission from some sick, young godhead.


by James Tate | |

A Knock On The Door

 They ask me if I've ever thought about the end of
the world, and I say, "Come in, come in, let me
give you some lunch, for God's sake.
" After a few bites it's the afterlife they want to talk about.
"Ouch," I say, "did you see that grape leaf skeletonizer?" Then they're talking about redemption and the chosen few sitting right by His side.
"Doing what?" I ask.
"Just sitting?" I am surrounded by burned up zombies.
"Let's have some lemon chiffon pie I bought yesterday at the 3 Dog Bakery.
" But they want to talk about my soul.
I'm getting drowsy and see butterflies everywhere.
"Would you gentlemen like to take a nap, I know I would.
" They stand and back away from me, out the door, walking toward my neighbors, a black cloud over their heads and they see nothing without end.


by James Tate | |

The Wrong Way Home

 All night a door floated down the river.
It tried to remember little incidents of pleasure from its former life, like the time the lovers leaned against it kissing for hours and whispering those famous words.
Later, there were harsh words and a shoe was thrown and the door was slammed.
Comings and goings by the thousands, the early mornings and late nights, years, years.
O they've got big plans, they'll make a bundle.
The door was an island that swayed in its sleep.
The moon turned the doorknob just slightly, burned its fingers and ran, and still the door said nothing and slept.
At least that's what they like to say, the little fishes and so on.
Far away, a bell rang, and then a shot was fired.