And, by the bye—
In his last novel The Last Novel, David Markson lamented a lack of—
America’s Emily Dickinson dime?
—this preceded by:
Before the Euro, the portrait of Yeats on Ireland’s twenty-pound note.
America’s Whitman twenty-dollar bill, when?
The Melville ten?
“I Am in Danger—Sir—” by Adrienne Rich
“Half-cracked” to Higginson, living,
afterward famous in garbled versions,
your hoard of dazzling scraps a battlefield,
now your old snood
mothballed at Harvard
and you in your variorum monument
equivocal to the end—
who are you?
you, woman, masculine
for whom the word was more
than a symptom—
a condition of being.
Till the air buzzing with spoiled language
sang in your ears
and in your half-cracked way you chose
silence for entertainment,
chose to have it out at last
on your own premises.