Robert West: Six Short Poems

Southern Legitimacy Statement:

The son of a North Carolinian and a South Carolinian, I grew up near the border–in southwest North Carolina, just outside Hendersonville. My childhood neighborhood was bounded by a cornfield, railroad tracks, a cow pasture, U.S. 64., and (on two sides) what we all called “the creek.” Except for a college semester in London, I’ve never lived outside the South. I’m confounded by people who tell me, “You don’t have a Southern accent.” Maybe I don’t talk like a Clampett, but if I’m not Southern, I don’t know who is.

Wreath For a Chapel Hill Curb

Here fell
the mortal shell

of the
immortal

Randall Jarrell.

**

Long Last

The dogged
underdog who

finally finishes
first makes

the most
winning winner.

**

Riddance

So long,
summer so
dry and

so long!

**

From the Heart

That awful meeting hours done, it struck
me that was only twice I’d had the luck
to hear your fine, exasperated Fuck.

**

Plaint

A day
without you

is a day

I can
do without.

**

Enough

Having forgotten
your first days

and knowing nothing
of your last

you live a life
eternal enough

for now.