On Hearing That My Poems Were Being Studied in a Distant Place, by Hyam Plutzik

What are they mumbling about me there?
“Here,” they say, “he suffered; here was glad.”
Are words clothes or the putting off of clothes?”

The scene is as follows: my book is open
On thirty desks; the teacher expounds my life.
Outside the window the Pacific roars like a lion.

Beside which my small words rise and fall.
“In this alliteration a tower crashed.”
Are words clothes or the putting off of clothes?

“Here, in the fisherman casting on the water,
He saw the end of the dreamer.
And in that image, death, naked.”

Out of my life I fashioned a fistful of words.
When I opened my hand, they flew away.”