I get these poems in my inbox from Knopf, their Poem A Day, as it were. These are two prose poems by Mark Strand, and they’re really good. I particularly enjoy “The Triumph of the Infinite.” They’re both from his Collected Poems.

Enjoy (although neither one is very springy!)


In the Afterlife

She stood beside me for years, or was it a moment? I cannot remember. Maybe I loved her, maybe I didn’t. There was a house, and then no house. There were trees, but none remain. When no one remembers, what is there? You, whose moments are gone, who drift like smoke in the afterlife, tell me something, tell me anything.

The Triumph of the Infinite

I got up in the night and went to the end of the hall. Over the door in large letters it said, “This is the next life. Please come in.” I opened the door. Across the room a bearded man in a pale green suit turned to me and said, “Better get ready, we’re taking the long way.” “Now I’ll wake up,” I thought, but I was wrong. We began our journey over golden tundra and patches of ice. Then there was nothing for miles around, and all I could hear was my heart pumping and pumping so hard I thought I would die all over again.

© 2017, Brian Stumbaugh. All rights reserved.