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Best Famous Thomas Lux Poems

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

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Written by Thomas Lux |

Refrigerator 1957

 More like a vault -- you pull the handle out
and on the shelves: not a lot,
and what there is (a boiled potato
in a bag, a chicken carcass
under foil) looking dispirited,
drained, mugged.
This is not a place to go in hope or hunger.
But, just to the right of the middle of the middle door shelf, on fire, a lit-from-within red, heart red, sexual red, wet neon red, shining red in their liquid, exotic, aloof, slumming in such company: a jar of maraschino cherries.
Three-quarters full, fiery globes, like strippers at a church social.
Maraschino cherries, maraschino, the only foreign word I knew.
Not once did I see these cherries employed: not in a drink, nor on top of a glob of ice cream, or just pop one in your mouth.
Not once.
The same jar there through an entire childhood of dull dinners -- bald meat, pocked peas and, see above, boiled potatoes.
Maybe they came over from the old country, family heirlooms, or were status symbols bought with a piece of the first paycheck from a sweatshop, which beat the pig farm in Bohemia, handed down from my grandparents to my parents to be someday mine, then my child's? They were beautiful and, if I never ate one, it was because I knew it might be missed or because I knew it would not be replaced and because you do not eat that which rips your heart with joy.

Written by Thomas Lux |

The Man Into Whose Yard You Should Not Hit Your Ball

 each day mowed
and mowed his lawn, his dry quarter acre,
the machine slicing a wisp
from each blade's tip.
Dust storms rose around the roar: 6:00 P.
, every day, spring, summer, fall.
If he could mow the snow he would.
On one side, his neighbors the cows turned their backs to him and did what they do to the grass.
Where he worked, I don't know but it sets his jaw to: tight.
His wife a cipher, shoebox tissue, a shattered apron.
As if into her head he drove a wedge of shale.
Years later his daughter goes to jail.
Mow, mow, mow his lawn gently down a decade's summers.
On his other side lived mine and me, across a narrow pasture, often fallow; a field of fly balls, the best part of childhood and baseball, but one could not cross his line and if it did, as one did in 1956 and another in 1958, it came back coleslaw -- his lawn mower ate it up, happy to cut something, no matter what the manual said about foreign objects, stones, or sticks.

Written by Thomas Lux |

Marine Snow At Mid-Depths And Down

 As you descend, slowly, falling faster past
you this snow,
ghostly, some flakes bio-
luminescent (you plunge,
and this lit snow doesn't land
at your feet but keeps falling below
you): single-cell-plant chains, shreds
of zooplankton's mucus food traps,
fish fecal pellets, radioactive fallouts,
sand grains, pollen.
And inside these jagged falling islands live more microlives, which feed creatures on the way down and all the way down.
And you, in your sinking isolation booth, you go down, too, through this food-snow, these shards, bits of planet, its flora and flesh, you slip straight down, unreeled, until the bottom's oozy silt, the sucking baby-soft muck, welcomes you to the deep sea's bed, a million anvils per square inch pressing on your skull.
How silent here, how much life, few places deeper on earth, none with more width.

More great poems below...

Written by Thomas Lux |

I Love You Sweatheart

 A man risked his life to write the words.
A man hung upside down (an idiot friend holding his legs?) with spray paint to write the words on a girder fifty feet above a highway.
And his beloved, the next morning driving to work.
? His words are not (meant to be) so unique.
Does she recognize his handwriting? Did he hint to her at her doorstep the night before of "something special, darling, tomorrow"? And did he call her at work expecting her to faint with delight at his celebration of her, his passion, his risk? She will know I love her now, the world will know my love for her! A man risked his life to write the world.
Love is like this at the bone, we hope, love is like this, Sweatheart, all sore and dumb and dangerous, ignited, blessed--always, regardless, no exceptions, always in blazing matters like these: blessed.

Written by Thomas Lux |

Henry Clays Mouth

 Senator, statesman, speaker of the House,
exceptional dancer, slim,
graceful, ugly.
Proclaimed, before most, slavery an evil, broker of elections (burned Jackson for Adams), took a pistol ball in the thigh in a duel, delayed, by forty years, with his compromises, the Civil War, gambler ("I have always paid peculiar homage to the fickle goddess"), boozehound, ladies' man -- which leads us to his mouth, which was huge, a long slash across his face, with which he ate and prodigiously drank, with which he modulated his melodic voice, with which he liked to kiss and kiss and kiss.
He said: "Kissing is like the presidency, it is not to be sought and not to be declined.
" A rival, one who wanted to kiss whom he was kissing, said: "The ample dimensions of his kissing apparatus enabled him to rest one side of it while the other was on active duty.
" It was written, if women had the vote, he would have been President, kissing everyone in sight, dancing on tables ("a grand Terpsichorean performance .
"), kissing everyone, sometimes two at once, kissing everyone, the almost-President of our people.

Written by Thomas Lux |


 What I love about this little leaning mark
is how it divides
without divisiveness.
The left or bottom side prying that choice up or out, the right or top side pressing down upon its choice: either/or, his/her.
Sometimes called a slash (too harsh), a slant (a little dizzy, but the Dickinson association nice: "Tell all the Truth but tell it slant--"), solidus (sounding too much like a Roman legionnaire of many campaigns), or a separatrix (reminding one of a sexual variant).
No, I like virgule.
I like the word and I like the function: "Whichever is appropriate may be chosen to complete the sense.
" There is something democratic about that, grown-up; a long and slender walking stick set against the house.
Virgule: it feels good in your mouth.
Virgule: its foot on backwards, trochaic, that's OK, American.
Virgule: you could name your son that, or your daughter Virgula.
I'm sorry now I didn't think to give my daughter such a name though I doubt that she and/or her mother would share that thought.

Written by Thomas Lux |

A Little Tooth

 Your baby grows a tooth, then two,
and four, and five, then she wants some meat
directly from the bone.
It's all over: she'll learn some words, she'll fall in love with cretins, dolts, a sweet talker on his way to jail.
And you, your wife, get old, flyblown, and rue nothing.
You did, you loved, your feet are sore.
It's dusk.
Your daughter's tall.

Written by Thomas Lux |

A Kiss

 One wave falling forward meets another wave falling
Well-water, hand-hauled, mineral, cool, could be a kiss, or pastures fiery green after rain, before the grazers.
The kiss -- like a shoal of fish whipped one way, another way, like the fever dreams of a million monkeys -- the kiss carry me -- closer than your carotid artery -- to you

Written by Thomas Lux |


 One sweet pound of filet mignon
sizzles on the roadside.
Let's say a hundred yards below the buzzard.
The buzzard sees no cars or other buzzards between the mountain range due north and the horizon to the south and across the desert west and east no other creature's nose leads him to this feast.
The buzzard's eyes are built for this: he can see the filet's raw and he likes the sprig of parsley in this brown and dusty place.
No abdomens to open here before he eats.
No tearing, slashing with his beak, no offal-wading to pick and rip the softest parts.
He does not need to threaten or screech to keep the other buzzards from his meat.
He circles slowly down, not a flap, not a shiver in his wide wings, and lands before his dinner, an especially lucky buzzard, who bends his neck to pray, then eats.

Written by Thomas Lux |

He Has Lived In Many Houses

 furnished rooms, flats, a hayloft,
a tent, motels, under a table,
under an overturned rowboat, in a villa (briefly) but not,
as yet, a yurt.
In these places he has slept, eaten, put his forehead to the window glass, looking out.
He's in a stilt-house now, the water passing beneath him half the day; the other half it's mud.
The tides do this: they come, they go, while he sleeps, eats, puts his forehead to the window glass.
He's moving soon: his trailer to a trailer park, or to the priory to live among the penitents but in his own cell, with wheels, to take him, when it's time to go, to: boathouse, houseboat with a little motor, putt-putt, to take him across the sea or down the river where at night, anchored by a sandbar at the bend, he will eat, sleep, and press his eyelids to the window of the pilothouse until the anchor-hauling hour when he'll embark again toward his sanctuary, harborage, saltbox, home.

Written by Thomas Lux |

Gorgeous Surfaces

 They are, the surfaces, gorgeous: a master
pastry chef at work here, the dips and whorls,
the wrist-twist
squeezes of cream from the tube
to the tart, sweet bleak sugarwork, needlework
toward the perfect lace doily
where sit the bone-china teacups, a little maze
of meaning maybe in their arrangement
sneaky obliques, shadow
allusives all piling
atop one another.
Textures succulent but famished, banal, bereft.
These surfaces, these flickering patinas, through which, if you could drill, or hack, or break a trapdoor latch, if you could penetrate these surfaces' milky cataracts, you would drop, free-fall like a hope chest full of lead to nowhere, no place, a dry-wind, sour, nada place, and you would keep dropping, tumbling, slow motion, over and over for one day, six days, fourteen decades, eleven centuries (a long time falling to fill a zero) and in that time not a leaf, no rain, not a single duck, nor hearts, not one human, nor sleep, nor grace, nor graves--falling to where the bottom, finally, is again the surface, which is gorgeous, of course, which is glue, saw- and stone-dust, which is blue-gray ice, which is the barely glinting grit of abyss.

Written by Thomas Lux |

Torn Shades

 How, in the first place, did
they get torn-pulled down hard
too many times: to hide a blow,
or sex, or a man
in stained pajamas? The tear blade-shaped,
serrated, in tatters.
And once, in a house flatside to a gas station, as snow fell at a speed and angle you could lean on, two small hands (a patch of throat, a whip of hair across her face)- two small hands parting a torn shade to welcome a wedge of gray sunlight into that room.

Written by Thomas Lux |

Motel Seedy

 The artisans of this room, who designed the lamp base
(a huge red slug with a hole
where its heart should be) or chose this print
of a butterscotch sunset,
must have been abused in art class
as children, forced to fingerpaint
with a nose, or a tongue.
To put this color green--exhausted grave grass--to cinder blocks takes an understanding of loneliness and/or institutions that terrifies.
It would seem not smart to create a color scheme in a motel room that's likely to cause impotence in men and open sores in women, but that's what this puce bedspread with its warty, ratty tufts could do.
It complements the towels, torn and holding awful secrets like the sail on a life raft loaded with blackened, half-eaten corpses .
I think I owned this desk once, I think this chair is where I sat with the Help Wanted ads spread and wobbling before me as I looked for jobs to lead me upward: to rooms like this, in America, where I dreamed I lived .
Do I deprive tonight the beautician and her lover, a shower-head salesman, of this room? He is so seldom in town.
I felt by their glance in the hallway that my room, no.
17, means something (don't ask me to explain this) special to them.
Maybe they fell fiercely into each other here for the first time, maybe there was a passion preternatural.
I'm glad this room, so ugly, has known some love at $19.
00 double occupancy-- though not tonight, for a dollar fifty less.

Written by Thomas Lux |

Plague Victims Catapulted Over Walls Into Besieged City

 Early germ
The dead hurled this way look like wheels in the sky.
Look: there goes Larry the Shoemaker, barefoot, over the wall, and Mary Sausage Stuffer, see how she flies, and the Hatter twins, both at once, soar over the parapet, little Tommy's elbow bent as if in a salute, and his sister, Mathilde, she follows him, arms outstretched, through the air, just as she did on earth.

Written by Thomas Lux |

A Library Of Skulls

 Shelves and stacks and shelves of skulls, a Dewey
Decimal number inked on each unfurrowed forehead.
Here's a skull who, before he lost his fleshy parts and lower bones, once walked beside a river (we're in the poetry section now) his head full of love and loneliness; and this smaller skull, in the sociology stacks, smiling (they're all smiling)—it's been empty a hundred years.
That slot across the temple? An ax blow that fractured her here.
Look at this one from the children's shelves, a baby, his fontanel a screaming mouth and this time no teeth, no smile.
Here's a few (history)—a murderer, and this one—see how close their eye sockets!—a thief, and here's a rack of torturers' skulls beneath which a longer row of the tortured, and look: generals' row, their epaulets on the shelves to each side of them.
Shelves and shelves, stacks stacked on top of stacks, floor above floor, this towering high-rise library of skulls, not another bone in the place and just now the squeak of a wheel on a cart piled high with skulls on their way back to shelves while in the next aisle a cart filling with those about to be loaned to the tall, broken-hearted man waiting at the desk, his library card face down before him.