Two Poems by Ruth Lepson

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Two Poems


Ruth Lepson

as if a tramp traveled along the train tracks

I listened to you in the night without a thought of myself

and the groom and the bride, night and day,

glanced shyly at each other

between the fierce winds and devil-may-care attitudes


if I had a thing to tell you

the end is just rain

wet endless rain

I would ask you

to soothe my brow


why are

dreams dark why am I

beginning to act in them with agency


naps, congregations, conjugations

the arrest of anticipation

all told, an improvement


to assuage it yet attend to another’s joy

that’s a neat trick


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

The sun’s back out, better get back outside.



“I didn’t want to buy anything. It’s sad when you can’t think of anything you want to buy.”

Swept the pine needles off the patio, friends coming to visit.


He says there isn’t going to be any winter, relax.

Bio: Ruth Lepson is poet-in-residence at the New England Conservatory of Music. In recent years she has collaborated with musicians, and her forthcoming book, Ask Anyone, will be accompanied by musical settings of her poems on the Pressed Wafer website. Her other books are Dreaming in Color (Alice James Books), Morphology, and I Went Looking for You (Both from BlazeVOX) and she edited Poetry from Sojourner: A Feminist Anthology (UIllinois). Her poems have appeared in Let the Bucket Down, Carve, SpoKe, Jacket2, Big Bridge, and many other journals.

Poetic Statement:
I can write only what I can write. Robert Creeley has been my main man, & I have learned immeasurably from him, as well as from Denise Levertov & Adrienne Rich. My conundrum is how to express emotion through sound & image in a contemporary way. These days I love Fanny Howe, Kate Greenstreet, Joseph Massey, and plenty of others—I seem to buy a book a day.

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