Steve with Jacket over his head

1972, Kenneth Rexroth and Eli Jacobson

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In 1972 I took it into my head to end my life. It was easy: suicide was in the air. Today when people talk about the idealized late sixties and early seventies age of activism and protest, the “summer of love” or other trappings of youth culture they generally do so by way of nostalgia. [...]

Steve with Jacket over his head

A tenderness…

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A tenderness sweeps past, aiming for someone, By God I feel the air. I open my shirt— Blind man on University Avenue Baring his chest— Hafez comes to mind: “Why not become the one Who lives with a full moon in each eye That is always saying, With that sweet moon Language What every other [...]


Its Raining in Syracuse: the Life I Always Wanted

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Its raining in Syracuse, New York—a warm rain for late October, as if it arrived from Carolina by mistake. The world smells like dying leaves and smoky earth. Its a good day for anonymous lovers—we can at last see beauty in strangers across the rainy parking lots. Yes, Whitman, I hear you in a moist [...]

Steve with Jacket over his head

Rachmaninoff, Ding Dong, Blues…

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“Good morning blues, blues how do you do?” Blues got in this morning by bus—hung out formerly in archetypal paradise. I’m doin’ alright, good morning, how are you? Man says: “Well I lay down last night, turnin’ from side to side…” Blues says: “Ding Dong. Here’s your coffin. Shall I leave it here on the [...]

Book Cover of "Only Bread, Only Light" by Steve Kuusisto

In another minute…

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In another minute I’m washing apples—lyric present—in another minute. In another minute the rags and disguises of me are washed away as though psyche was nothing more than sand—in another minute— common sense, another, geese headed north, words stacked like fire wood, another minute I wash apples—and summer has grown old but not like a [...]


Explore the Planet

Steve Kuusisto's Books on

Letters to Borges

Planet of the Blind

Only Bread, Only Light

Eavesdropping: A Memoir of Blindness and Listening

The Poet's Notebook

Do Not Interrupt: A Playful Take on the Art of Conversation