Minnesota poetry: Jim Moore’s ‘Resolutions’

A retrospective of the poetry of Jim Moore is coming out in September, titled "Underground: New and Selected Poems."

The author of seven books of poetry, Moore and his wife, photographer JoAnn Verburg, divide their time between Minnesota and Italy. His work has appeared in "The Nation," "The New Yorker," and the "Paris Review."

"Underground" @ JoAnn Verburg 2013


This year I’ll be a hair shirt in reverse,

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teeth on fruit and a tongue in the secret places,

a psalm in the face of my enemies,

the nail that works loose from every theory,

two steps toward whatever moves,

a cool basement for my goat to play in,

and this year I’ll take ten fingers

and write slowly of the prisons,

no sadness will be spared,

no cell forgotten,

and every day I’ll remember

the length of each convict’s body.

I’ll remember the new year is everywhere,

even behind those bars,

and join my friends in the tunnels

where in spite of everything

Terry danced a jig once and I watched

and I think I’ll bathe in the sea

and let no more than a little salt water

separate Terry and me.

-- "Resolutions" by Jim Moore, from "Underground: New and Selected Poems." Used by permission of Graywolf Press.