Robin Blaser, 1925-2009

In some ways my favorite of the San Francisco Renaissance poets. The initial word of his death comes from Charles Bernstein’s blog. Here’s one of his poems, which I hope Coach House Books (formerly Coach House Press, publisher of Blaser’s The Holy Forest) won’t begrudge me reproducing on the occasion:


everything is alive

free of the dead,
what can be thought
seems to be yours in this world
where it all coheres
free to spend some powers,
but the universe is absent
from all your plans

take the ghost stirring
in an animal each
flower, a piece of light
scattering love’s mystery
asleep in metal alive
the coherence takes power
over you

in the blind wall, you fear
the blindness which sees you
even to matter, put to
true and false uses,
a word is tied

often, a secret god exists
in the darkness
and like an eye born
with the lids closed,
a real ghost comes to be
under the surface of the stones

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