By People Staff
July 12, 1982 12:00 PM

>James Wrights

…The secret Of this journey is to let the wind Blow its dust all over your body, To let it go on blowing, to step lightly, lightly All the way through your ruins, and not to lose Any sleep over the dead, who surely Will bury their own, don’t worry. from The Journey

Nicholas Christopher

Rita Rita sleek as cheetah Through the bush Over the galley

Up the vine—And straight down again. Let’s not mince it, baby. The story of a fast cat Always ends with a drowning. from Memphis

Carolyn Forché

…You will fight and fighting, you will die. I will live and living cry out until my voice is gone to its hollow of earth, where with our hands and by the lives we have chosen we will dig deep into our deaths. I have done all that I could do. from Message

Steve Orlen

I give and I take. Still, it’s never enough. The day’s a shoe to be walked in, the laces Tied by fingers plump as a child’s And clumsy. I got into it. I’ll get out. from Prologue

Marge Piercy

If she wants to serve him anything it’s a dead rat with a bomb in its belly ticking like the heart of an insomniac. Her life is cooked and digested, nothing but leftovers in Tupperware. Look, she says, once I was roast duck on your platter with parsley but now I am Spam. Burning dinner is not incompetence but war. from What’s That Smell in the Kitchen?

Denis Johnson

It’s 1996. I’m forty-eight. I am a monk who never prays. I am a prayer. The pilgrim comes to hear me; the banker comes, the bald janitors arrive,

the mothers lift their wicked children up—they wait for me as if I were a bus, with or without hope, what’s the difference? from The Confession of St. Jim-Ralph

Cyrus Cassells

Grandaddy, in the world I live in now we say we have no need of tales or talismans. But tell me, can the magic cat bone give me back the soul I had as a child? from A Childhood

Derek Walcott

I sit high on this bridge in Laventille, watching that city where I left no will but my own conscience and rum-eaten wit, and limers passing see me where I sit, ghost in brown gabardine, bones in a sack, and bawl, “Ay, Spoiler, boy. When you come back?” from The Spoiler’s Return