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Jacket 16 — March 2002   |   # 16  Contents   |   Homepage   |  Catalog   |    

Joe Brainard feature

Wayne Koestenbaum:

Two Little Elegies for Joe Brainard

Photo of Joe Brainard


I sit up all night
watching a ladybug
cross the windowpane.

The tower of Babel
at my fingertips
bewitches her.

I’ve wasted my forties —
today’s the second
morning of my fortieth year.

Oh, but I must mention
one rare red record,
found at a fleamarket:

‘The Rosary,’ sung
by Vivian Della Chiesa.
It holds up.


At the great soprano’s husband’s funeral
the synagogue smells of talc and hair oil.

I wear a tie with chromosomal squiggles
and read ‘Kubla Khan’ while waiting for the service

to begin. My grail is intersection,
though I can’t hold it,

don’t know what it is —
mysterious sadness falling into neat piles.

Jacket 16 — March 2002  Contents page
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