About the Poem
About the poet
J D McClatchy (b. 1945) is one of America's foremost poet-critics. His five collections of...
But now that I am used to pain,
Its knuckles in my mouth the same
Today as yesterday, the cause
As clear-obscure as who's to blame,
A fascination with the flaws
Sets in - the plundered heart, the pause
Between those earnest, oversold
Liberties that took like laws.
What should have been I never told,
Afraid of outbursts you'd withhold.
Why are desires something to share?
I'm shivering, though it isn't cold.
Beneath your window, I stand and stare.
The planets turn. The trees are bare.
I'll toss a pebble at the pane,
But softly, knowing you are not there.
from Hazmat (Knopf, 2002), copyright © J. D. McClatchy 2002, used by permission of the author and the publisher.
J D McClatchy Reading from his poems