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Mitch Sisskind - Correspondent at Large

John Cowper Powys, 1872-1963 [by Mitch Sisskind]

Powys 2

Though not a Jew himself Powys somehow

Intuited Kabbalistic teachings on humiliation
Through his sexual failures and constipation
As we learn in his Autobiography where he also
Spares us the rodomontadian strutting whereby
Lesser writers dramatize their accomplishments
In the bathroom or bedroom. Powys hated science
Especially vivisection of animals which for him 
Was all of science in a nutshell nor did he use 
Typewriters, telephones or linen napkins. Wait! 
Am I painting him as some quirkily funny SNL-host
Faux-awkward here-to-amuse-you Steve Martin type?
No! Who is another quirkily funny SNL type? Tina Fey?
No, no! Read Wolf Solent, you pogues! Read Porius!

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That Ship Has Sailed
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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