A Sampler of Poems
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The Laughing Monkeys of Gravity

The Flagrant Dead
The Painted Clock


Live performance of "Beethoven Does Not Lie Here" (2003) with Giselle Hillyer (violin), Roger McVey (piano), and Stephen Bluestone (reader).  Text of poem (from The Laughing Monkeys of Gravity) below.

                                    Franz Schubert's last words

    Mornings when he wrote, his hand flawless
across the page, the night's chat at Bogner's Cafe
    or the Anchor Tavern yawned like sleep into the wide sky;
Vienna danced and sang; the brass bands in the Prater,

    the organ-grinders, signed themselves in voices.
Like the deaf master whom he loved, he raised
    the dark indefinite body of sound up from its bones,
its triple-flesh, finishing what Goethe and Schiller

    had only begun, turning flat speech, stiff tropes,
and inadequate rhymes into the poems of poems.
    Alpine scores ran through his brain, evenings
of generous accompaniment, and improvised waltzes, too.

    He saw wild flowers dance on a paper field;
carriages crossed the green of his eye; high clouds
    bunched in the heavy skies; the chill November rain
still held his quick flammable ear to the flame.

                                                          –Stephen Bluestone

"The Business of Words" Stephen Bluestone radio interview (2007), hosted by Collin Kelley.  This interview can also be found at  Click on LTRN Archives and go to Business of Words Show #51.

"Baseball, movies, jazz, Rilke–these are some of the topics in the wide range of topics Stephen Bluestone addresses in The Flagrant Dead, his marvelous new collection of brilliant, learned poems. But perhaps the potential book buyer will imagine that 'brilliant' and 'learned' mean 'formidable.' Know, then, that Bluestone’s poems are also life-bearing, love-bearing, gifts for the reader that, as the advertisement says, are priceless. What other writer would help us to know that 'There is a world beyond words, or there is nothing'?"

                                                                                  –Kelly Cherry