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James Tate - Success Comes To Cow Creek

I sit on the tracks,
a hundred feet from
earth, fifty from the
water. Gerald is
inching toward me
as grim, slow, and
determined as a
season, because he
has no trade and wants
none. It's been nine months
since I last listened
to his fate, but I
know what he will say:
he's the fire hydrant
of the underdog.

When he reaches my
point above the creek,
he sits down without
salutation, and
spits profoundly out
past the edge, and peeks
for meaning in the
ripple it brings. He
scowls. He speaks: when you
walk down any street
you see nothing but
coagulations
of shit and vomit,
and I'm sick of it.
I suggest suicide;
he prefers murder,
and spits again for
the sake of all the
great devout losers.

A conductor's horn
concerto breaks the
air, and we, two doomed
pennies on the track,
shove off and somersault
like anesthetized
fleas, ruffling the
ideal locomotive
poised on the water
with our light, dry bodies.
Gerald shouts
terrifically as
he sails downstream like
a young man with a
destination. I
swim toward shore as
fast as my boots will
allow; as always,
neglecting to drown.

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Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 5550 times | Comments and analysis of Success Comes To Cow Creek by James Tate Comments (2)

Success Comes To Cow Creek - Comments and Information

Poet: James Tate
Poem: Success Comes To Cow Creek
Volume: The Lost Pilot
Year: Published/Written in 1961
Poem of the Day: Nov 28 2000

Comment 2 of 2, added on March 24th, 2006 at 4:15 PM.

My vocabulary does not stretch far enough to reach the Big Words, such as "poop", I can just say I really liked the poem, and have read it many times.

cow creek from Denmark
Comment 1 of 2, added on January 30th, 2005 at 4:44 PM.

it was poop

Buckwheat from Argentina

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