Which Silk Shirt: Exploring Poetry and Other Fine Writing

Which Silk Shirt: Exploring Poetry and Other Fine Writing

Poet David Budbill’s happy life is not all happiness. When the trees leaf out in spring, he is bothered at the loss of the winter’s barrenness. What a refreshing twist!

His poetry is clear, but not simple, and real, but not melancholy. His new book,Happy Life (Copper Canyon Press), has a calm logic that settles me. He is fallible — and he admits this. The world around him is sometimes imperfect — and he looks into that. The poems, set mostly in the Vermont mountains and seasons where he makes his home, follow his senses and awarenesses.

I’ll be reading this one on “Audio Saucepan” tomorrow evening:

Tomatoes in September
by David Budbill

Every surface in the house covered
with tomatoes, a vat
of boiling water on the stove,
drop them in and wait to see

cracks in their skin, into cold water, out,
cut away the bad spots,
cut out stem end and blossom end,
peel away the skin,

chop them up, drain them in a colander,
dump them into the other
pot in which a mountain of garlic
has been simmering in olive oil:

Brandywine, Juliet, Cosmonaut,
Rosa deBern, all go in,
salt and pepper, then
let them bubble

while you
go smell the house.