A Poem by Derek JG Williams

Derek JG Williams

Derek JG Williams

Derek JG Williams is a doctoral student in poetry at Ohio University. He has a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, where his poetry was featured on the city's MBTA trains. Derek's a Blacksmith House Emerging Poet. His poems are most recently published or forthcoming in Pleiades, DIAGRAM, Plume, Spillway, and Forklift Ohio, among others.

I've Walked Through Many Lives

  a cento of Stanley Kunitz

this is the magician’s place
his collection of conical hats
what is best in me lives underground
studying laments
nightfall of a woman’s hair
the white flower of forgiving
from your secret wound
on your elusive flesh
when I hold you in my arms
I wonder where you are
our lives are spinning out
how long will my shadow fly
through the deep litter of the years
only their ghost-song haunts the field
to swell the night with my alarm
unappeasable sky
the intelligence of the stars
I can scarcely wait till tomorrow
I am not done with my changes
nobody seems to guess
how gentle I really am
gradually I am changing to a word