Conjunctions:17 Tenth Anniversary Issue

Three Poems
The following is an excerpt from the three poems by Keith Waldrop that first appeared in Conjunctions:17.

Transparent Like the Air

spirits love
houses and also

certain exemplary places

(such as the rotten
pilings off
India Point)

without necessarily controlling
the intervening spaces

they are nothing

they have not returned

(a primitive
sign meaning “neither … nor”)

they do not
need to return I am
still here I

can bear only
the figures light
delineates not
the light itself

(unstable, un-
determined, in a
state of last ruin where
ontology seeps in)

clear things
with dark

certain stones give
birth to other stones

(bodies we label
heavy) some

split into thin
flakes tightly
embedded a



fallen down shafts the
marrow of their bones

frozen to this


and then the flash
of a bird’s wing) I

go down the column

A longtime contributor to Conjunctions, Keith Waldrop was an internationally-celebrated poet, translator, and editor. Waldrop published over a dozen books of poetry, including the 2009 National Book Award–winning Transcendental Studies: A Trilogy (University of California Press), and two books of prose, Hegel’s Family (Station Hill) and Light While There is Light (Sun & Moon). He received France's distinguished “Chevalier des arts et des lettres” for his translations of French literature, which included works by Charles Baudelaire and Claude Royet-Journoud, among many others. With his wife Rosmarie Waldrop, he co-edited the innovative Burning Deck Press for over 50 years.