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The Appreciation of the Text

for Allan and Cinda Kornblum

Manys the time I have sat across yr table & listened to you slowly   declaiming some narrative from some where

& manys the time we were awestruck and laughing at some limited edition, specially bound in granite, reviewed in the pages

& manys the time we have shared poems with each other, reading them as they should be read, peaceably, cups of coffee before us

& manys the time that the third light of morning illuminated breakfast there, you and Cinda, myself, the variable others

& manys the time we've sat up late at night, working in the book factory, doing all the little tasks required to put the signatures together into a book, multiplied by the hundreds

& manys the time an after reading party sparkled around the board, poets & friends, imaginations going full tilt, with music around the corner, typewriter passing from collaborator to another in the living room

& manys the time we have left one by one to view the stars over darkened Iowa, the stream of interstate traffic, gentle planetary folds of West Branch

& manys the time I've enjoyed quiet dinner there with you both, garden fragrances rising in steam

& the many times we've spent together are like a text, to go over again & again, remembering

Textual variances, recurrences, changes, new motifs, returns to beginnings

& I am the text, reading itself, and I appreciate

I appreciate the many times I've shared

Your company

Your hospitality

Your viewpoints and your laughter