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Thomas Lux Poems

A collection of select Thomas Lux famous poems that were written by Thomas Lux or written about the poet by other famous poets. PoetrySoup is a comprehensive educational resource of the greatest poems and poets on history.

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by Lux, Thomas
 One wave falling forward meets another wave falling
forward. 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...Read More



by Lux, Thomas
 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...Read More

by Lux, Thomas
 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....Read More

by Lux, Thomas
 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...Read More

by Lux, Thomas
 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...Read More



by Lux, Thomas
 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...Read More

by Lux, Thomas
 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...Read More

by Lux, Thomas
 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...Read More

by Lux, Thomas
 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...Read More

by Lux, Thomas
 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...Read More

by Lux, Thomas
 Early germ
warfare. 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....Read More

by Lux, Thomas
 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...Read More

by Lux, Thomas
 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.M., 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...Read More

by Lux, Thomas
 follows the river as it bends
along the valley floor,
going the way it must.
Where water goes, so goes the road,
if there's room (not in a ravine,
gorge), the river
on your right or left. Left is better: when you're driving,
it's over your elbow across
the road.
You see the current, which is
what the river is: the river
in the river, a thing sliding fast forward
inside...Read More

by Lux, Thomas
 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...Read More

by Lux, Thomas
 gnawing through a shinbone, a high howl
inside of which a bloody, slashed-by-growls note
is heard, unlike that
sound, and instead, its opposite: a barely sounded
sound (put your nuclear ears
on for it, your giant hearing horn, its cornucopia mouth
wide) -- a slippery whoosh of rain
sliding down a mirror
leaned against a windfallen tree stump, the sound
a child's head makes
falling against his mother's breast,
or...Read More

by Lux, Thomas
 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...Read More