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

Randall Jarrell.


Long Last

The dogged
underdog who

finally finishes
first makes

the most
winning winner.



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.



A day
without you

is a day

I can
do without.



Having forgotten
your first days

and knowing nothing
of your last

you live a life
eternal enough

for now.