(Inspired by a letter to Susan Gardener, page
328 of the book “A wild perfection”
selected letters of James Wright)
James sat in a gray frame house,
at the edge of New Concord.
Writing a letter during twilight,
which someone chose to hoard.
He talks of a funeral attendee,
in this twilight letter he writes.
He talks of the Hindu god Siva,
as daylight turns to night.
On the peak of the Himalayas,
Siva leaps into a form of fire,
and as James finishes the letter,
he gets ready to retire.
He wrote it on Christmas Eve,
of the year nineteen-sixty-four.
In Santa he doesn’t believe,
yet Siva all the more.
His letters reveal the poet’s mind,
only his letters are left behind.
By Mark Hudson