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“Dream Song 9” by John Berryman (1914 – 1972)
Deprived of his enemy, shrugged to a standstill
horrible Henry, foaming. Fan their way
toward him who will
in the high wood: the officers, their rest,
with p. a. echoing: his girl comes, say,
conned in to test
if he’s still human, see,
therefore she get on the Sheriff’s mike & howl
‘Come down, come down’.
Therefore he un-budge, furious. He’d flee
but only Heaven hangs over him foul.
At the crossways, downtown,
he dreams the folks are buying parsnips & suds
and paying rent to foes. He slipt & fell.
It’s golden here in the snow.
A mild crack: a far rifle. Bogart’s duds
truck back to Wardrobe. Fancy the brain from hell
held out so long. Let go.